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© Madagasikara Voakajy
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Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 23:26
<em>M. aurantiaca</em>


This striking amphibian Mantella aurantiaca is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. This means that is has a high chance of extinction. It is only known from only a few localities around Moramanga in eastern Madagascar. The main threats to the species are conversion of humid  forest into farmland and bush fires. Collection for the international pet trade is permitted but is not considered to be a major threat to wild populations.


Madagasikara Voakajy's attention was drawn to this species in 2007 when it was discovered in two new sites north of Moramanga. To read more about the results from this survey see Geographical distribution of three species of Malagasy poison frogs of high conservation priority: Mantella aurantiaca, M. crocea and M. milotympanum.

We followed up this discovery with a survey in 2008 of all known sites for this species. The startling discovery was that none of the sites where this species occurs was found in a protected area. Furthermore, whilst the Torotorofotsy wetland had historically received most attention as a key site for the species, we found highest abundance and the most breeding ponds in the Mangabe forest, south west of Moramanga (Randrianavelona et al. 2010).

Based on these findings we worked with local communities and the Malagasy government to propose the Mangabe forest as a new protected area. This work was funded by USAID's Miaro program and the forest was awarded provisional protected area status in October 2008. Around the same time we also started to support local communities to sustainably manage the natural resources in the forest, in a project funded by the IUCN and Maurice Laing Foundation. .

In 2010 we conducted detailed population assessments at three ponds in Mangabe and developed a rapid participatory survey for use with the communities to conduct annual checks at key sites.

Since 2008 we have also assisted the Ambatovy Minerals project mitigate the impacts of open-cast mining at sites where this species occurs.