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Adventurer of the Year Ash Dykes Completes Trek from South to North of Madagascar, Searches for Critically Endangered Northern Sportive Lemur

Below is the current press release for Ash Dyke’s world’s first expedition across Madagascar.


Photo courtesy of Ash Dykes


Press Contacts

Ash Dykes Media Contact
Lizzie Carr

Lemur Conservation Network Contact for Ash Dykes Expedition
Lynne Venart
+1 571.213.6717

Press Contact for the Northern Sportive Lemur
Dr. Edward Louis
Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Quotes from Ash Dykes

The critically endangered northern sportive lemur, Lepilemur septentrionalis. Photo credit: Dr. Edward Louis

The critically endangered northern sportive lemur, Lepilemur septentrionalis. Feel free to use this photo in the media with photo credit: Dr. Edward Louis of Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership.

“Madagascar is a country of stark contrast with some very real environmental issues and a big part of the expedition was to highlight this. There’s a huge threat to a lot of the island’s endemic species but so many conservationists are in place to rescue and protect them with very positive achievements. In the past year alone, thousands of trees have been planted to reforest and protect the habitat of the Northern Sportive Lemur, so it’s great to see projects making a difference.

“It’s been an incredible journey and I feel very privileged to experience the heart of Madagascar. The people are some of the most hospitable I’ve met and to be welcomed by tribes that, until now, have never even seen a foreigner was very special. Seeing how locals not only survive but thrive in remote and often perilous areas has been eye opening. However nothing could have prepared me for just how mentally and physically tough the journey would be. This is, without a doubt, the hardest and most demanding challenge I’ve taken on – there were times it nearly broke me so reaching the finish line was quite overwhelming.”

— Ash Dykes

What conservationists did Ash Dykes meet with in Madagascar?

Dr. Ed Louis of the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership works to conserve lemurs, like the endangered aye-aye pictured here.

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

Near the end of Ash Dyke’s 1,800 mile trek, he trekked into Montagne des Francais in the far north of Madagascar. Here, Dr. Edward Louis of the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership is working to save the last remaining northern sportive lemurs, which are critically endangered. Experts estimate that only approximately 50 individuals remain.

» Recent research on the northern sportive lemur (page 36)

Centre ValBio

In the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park, Ash Dykes met with Dr. Patricia Wright’s team at Centre ValBio.

Pat & Josieanne Chameleon brooksei Tent Miaranony RAN NP MAD NRoweIMG_3135-cropped

Dr. Patricia Wright in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Here, he treked through the dense forest in search of golden bamboo lemurs, milne-edwards sifaka, mouse lemurs and more, and learned from researchers at the Centre ValBio research station.


Near the start of Ash’s journey he stopped by the Azafady offices in the southern town of Fort Dauphin to learn about how conservation and community development must go hand-in-hand. Here Ash met with the Azafady conservation team, and learned more about the challenges facing the Lemur species inhabiting the highly fragmented and threatened southern littoral forests.

Sainte Luce Reserve and Association FILANA

A collared brown lemur found in the forests where both Azafady and Sainte Luce Reserve work. Photo courtesy of Azafady.

A collared brown lemur found in the forests where both Azafady and Sainte Luce Reserve work. Photo courtesy of Azafady.

Also in Fort Dauphin, Ash met with Brett Massoud and staff from the Sainte Luce Reserve to learn about the beautiful beach-side reserve that Sainte Luce and Association FILANA work to protect.

Lemur Conservation Network Launch Press Release: February 2015


Lemur Conservation Network Press Contacts

Lemur Conservation Network Media Contact (English)
Christoph Schwitzer
Project Advisor, Lemur Conservation Network
Director of Conservation, Bristol Zoological Society
UK Phone Number: 0117 974 7358

Madagascar Media Contact (French and Malagasy)
Jonah Ratsimbazafy
Project Advisor, Lemur Conservation Network
Secretary General, GERP
Phone: (+261 20) 22 660 48 (Office)
Mobile: 033 12 338 83

Lemur Action Plan