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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).

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(and publication request form)
Commerson’s leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros commersoni)


Hipposideros commersoni is the largest insect-eating bat found on the island of Madagascar. Weighing around 60g and often living in large colonies in caves it is frequently hunted for its meat by people, especially in the west and south. Because of hunting pressure and loss of forests, where this species feeds, it is considered Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.


Initially, we studied how this bat species used forest vegetation for roosting and feeding, working in both dry deciduous and humid littoral forests. We also looked at the diet of this bat species in these habitats. Our interest then turned to sites where this bat roosts in caves, and we focussed our efforts in the Anjohibe area north of Majunga. Although this is a Near Threatened species, hunting for subsistence use is legal between February and April. We are now trying to understand the impact of this hunting on the bat populations and the importance of the bat meat to human populations.

More information

Some results of our studies about this bat species can be found here:

Bats as bushmeat in Madagascar

The food habits of a Malagasy Gian

Hipposideros commersoni in littoral forest