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Species News from the Field

  • Capacity building highlights in 2015

    From 11th to 14th of August, Raphali Andriantsimanarilafy, reptiles lead researcher at Madagasikara Voakajy, followed a training Distance Sampling at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. The main objective of this training is to help researchers in the world working on population assessment to have a good knowledge on how to use and how work Distance software. Distance sampling is one method using point or line transect for collecting data in the field. Many researchers from different country or institutions working on different taxa attended this workshop. The training was given by the experts on Distance Sampling from the University of St Andrews. Back in Madagascar, he used (and will continue to use) his newly learned skills to analyse our existing data, and design future research on reptiles and other species within our organization. 


  • Herps team surveying the population structure, microhabitat and activities of Mantella cowanii

                    Mantella cowanii is classified as Endangered by the IUCN red list of threatened species due to its very restricted area of occupancy to a few sites. In addition to that, the species is mainly threatened by the habitat loss. The conservation efforts through the Action Plan Mantella cowanii (APMC) seem to be positive for the species has been down listed from Critically Endangered to Endangered in 2014.

  • Calumma tarzan


    Calumma tarzan, or Tarzan’s chameleon, was discovered in 2009 in the Anosibe An’Ala district.Subsequent research shows that this species is endemic to the district, where it is only know from three small forest fragments: near the village Tarzanville, Ambatofotsy forest and Ampotaka forest.


More News from the Field >>

New Publications

  • file iconThe supply of illegal tortoise meat to Toliara City, south-western Madagascar

    A range of endemic and protected vertebrate species from Madagascar are threatened by the demand for bushmeat. We report on the number of discarded carapaces from illegally killed Critically Endangered radiated tortoises Astrochelys radiata in an urban centre in south-west Madagascar. 

  • file iconHabitat use by the endemic Malagasy bat Hipposideros commersoni in a littoral forest

    We investigated habitat use by the endemic Malagasy bat Hipposideros commersoni in evergreen littoral rainforest during the wet season in 2006, in order to better inform conservation guidelines. We used radiotracking to locate roosting and foraging sites.

  • file iconBat News Winter 2015

    This winter in the UK (summer in Madagascar), the Bat News of Bat Conservation Trust features the Bats of Madagascar. Read the full article here (icon Bat News Winter 2015).

More Publications >>
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Promoting conservation and wise use of baobab trees
These remarkable trees are an enduring image of Madagascar but there is growing evidence that populations are not enduring in the face of rising exploitation of bark products.

Six species of baobabs occur in Madagascar and nowhere else on Earth. We are working with people in the Menabe region of western Madagascar to improve the conservation and use of Grandidier's baobab Adansonia grandidieri.

This is an enormously important tree species, both for the region and the nation. Images of large baobab trees, lined up along roads or contorted into unusual shapes, are seen on many websites, posters and brochures that lure visitors to the island. A merchandise industry that sells scupltures, paintings, t-shirts and other itemswith baobab imagery  to tourists has expanded in recent years.

Grandidier's baobab is also very important to the local people who live around dry forests in south-western Madagascar. Fruits are harvested and sold locally for direct consumption or are made into juice. Bark is stripped to provide materials for making rope and roofing, as well as medicinal tea. There is now concern that the traditional exploitation of bark products by local communities is under pressure from outsiders; tradition sees small sections of bark removed from lower sections of the trees over many many years whilst the newer approach sees the trees felled and all of the bark is removed.

This project is currently supported by: