Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics


Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Clement Alo

Committee Member

Cortni Borgerson

Committee Member

Josh Galster


Understanding the role that gender plays in natural resource use is crucial for effective conservation efforts. While Madagascar is a priority for international conservation due to its high levels of endemism and unsustainable natural resource use, there is little information on how gender roles affect forest product use. This study uses over seven years of data on gender roles within the extraction, use, and sale of natural forest and marine resources near Madagascar’s largest national park to inform future conservation strategies. We found that gender significantly affects how one uses natural resources in Madagascar. Men were primarily responsible for the collection of natural resources; however, women were responsible for collecting nearly all resources in at least one household. Women purchased more of the natural resources they used, whereas men collected nearly all of their natural resources. More men than women collected resources for income and women primarily collected resources for subsistence. Of the resources they collected, women were significantly more likely to be responsible for the collection of animals than plants, and of aquatic rather than terrestrial resources. Gendered spaces resulted in women collecting most of the resources within rivers, whereas men collected most of the resources in ocean, agricultural, and forested lands. When age is an added factor, we found that while men were more responsible for collecting natural resources than women, boys were almost as likely as adult women to collect a resource, and girls were the least likely within a household to be primarily responsible for resource collection. A locally relevant understanding of how gender roles and needs intersect with natural resource use can help ensure the continued delivery of ecosystem services while protecting Madagascar’s endemic species.

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