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Latest News from the Field
Pronk's day gecko (Phelsuma pronki)
Geckoes
Written by Deborah Bower   
Monday, 28 April 2014 09:33

Phelsuma pronkiA recent field trip to the Mangabe-Ranomena-Sasarotra New Protected Area has returned new information on a Critically endangered lizard – Pronk’s day gecko. It has a flattened cream body with black and yellow stripes. It turns out this colour pattern give the gecko perfect camouflage for dead trees. Perhaps it is no surprise that of the 21 Pronk’s day geckos that we found over the three weeks of searching - all of them were on dead trees. We searched in many different habitat types including closed canopy forest, Lantana shrub and woodland. We were surprised to find Pronk’s day gecko not only in the forest but also in distrubed grassy areas where dead trees were present. Some of the areas where we found the highest abundance of geckos had many dead trees but hardly any live ones and this may present a problem for the future of the gecko population, because a range of tree life stages are needed to be able to continually replace the dead trees on which Pronk’s day gecko were found. We are heading back to the field shortly to examine the habitat of Pronk’s day gecko in more detail.

 
Marking Mangabe (Part 2)
Communities
Monday, 05 August 2013 15:23
On our fourth day I wake up a bit later, and I stay in my tent to read and write. Around eight our cook makes some coffee for the team – no sugar for the vazaha, he says giggling. My eating habits are a constant source of amusement for the team and nobody can understand how I can eat so little rice. But really, if you had a look at the ridiculous amounts of rice my team mates eat at every meal you would understand how. We have fries for breakfast, which is a welcome change after the dried fish we had yesterday. And the day before. I like this place, it's quiet, and being away from the villages I don't have children staring at me all day long.

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Marking Mangabe (Part 1)
Communities
Thursday, 25 July 2013 10:30
It's a misty morning when we leave Moramanga for ten days of fieldwork in Mangabe, where we are setting up and promoting a new protected area. Humidity clearly reaches its peak at dawn, and I can barely recognize the shapes of the bigger buildings. The streets are already full of people and animals running around. The team going to Mangabe is quite large, and every couple of minutes the car stops to pick somebody new up. Soon I lose track of how many people are in the car, and of who's who. There are MV staff, people from the topographical and forest agencies of the government, representatives of local communities, mayors, a cook and who knows who else.
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Initiating Village-based Chameleons Conservation in Southern Madagascar
Chameleons
Written by Raphali Andriatsimanarilafy   
Thursday, 11 July 2013 08:13

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Madagasikara Voakajy and the regional office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in Toliary organized a workshop in March 2011 to develop a Species Conservation Strategy for the Belalanda Chameleon, Furcifer belalandaensis. This species was considered to be among the most threatened chameleon in the world. Found only around Belalanda village, west of Toliary, this chameleon is threatened by an increase in tree harvesting for charcoal. These trees are important habitats for the Belalanda chameleon. Currently, the status of the Belalanda Chameleon as a separate species is being re-questioned following genetic analysis. Nonetheless, the activities planned in this project will benefit three other endemic chameleon species, including the Vulnerable Furcifer antimena.

 

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On the track of the Angel's chameleon
Chameleons
Written by Mathilde Soazandry   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:28

Furcifer angeli Angel's chameleon, Furcifer angeli is an endemic chameleon of Madagascar. Its distribution is limited to the north-western part of the country. Like most Malagasy chameleon species, international trade of the Angel's chameleon has been suspended for several years, due to lack of proof for its sustainability. In 2012, the scientific and management authorities of the CITES convention in Madagascar assessed this species as presenting low risk for international trade. In April 2013, a team from Madagasikara Voakajy carried out a fieldwork to assess the population of F. angeli and identify potential sites for the collect. Data collected from this fieldwork will also be used to determine a sustainable quota for this species. Two main areas were visited: Marosely in Sofia Region and Andranomiditra in Boeny Region. Surprise: only 22 individuals were found during a ten nights search in Marosely; no individuals were found after nine nights search in Andranomiditra. What's going on? We are now comparing our results to that of previous years. Habitat preference is also analyzed to review the species' area of occurrence.

 

 
Restoring baobab populations in Madagascar
Baobabs
Written by Julie Razafimanahaka   
Monday, 22 April 2013 09:57

Six of the nine species of baobabs in the world are endemic to Madagascar. Three of them are Endangered according to the IUCN Red List: Grandidier's baobab (Adansonia grandidieri), Perrier's baobab (A. perrieri) and the Diego baobab (A. suarezensis). The first is only found in the western part of Madagascar while the latter two are endemic to the northern tip of the country. Together, they are threatened by low recruitment in the wild. To mitigate this threat, we initiated a program to restore the baobab population in western and northern Madagascar.

 

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A week to consolidate community engagement to biodiversity conservation in the Moramanga district
Communities
Written by Julie Razafimanahaka   
Monday, 07 April 2014 15:01

From 24th to 28th March 2014, 54 leaders and members of 12 community-based organisations working with Madagasikara Voakajy in Moramanga and Ambatondrazaka districts got together to foster their engagement for conserving the unique biodiversity in their villages, part of the unique biodiversity of Madagascar.

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When peanuts help to conserve fruit bats
Livelihoods
Written by Julie Razafimanahaka   
Friday, 26 July 2013 20:55

Of course, fruit bats do not eat peanuts, but in eastern Madagascar, a peanut cultivation project helped to conserve three fruit bat roosts. How?

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The song of the indri
Lemurs
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 08:57
Moramanga is a sprawling, chaotic town on the way to the east coast. A mine was recently opened nearby, and now Moramanga looks like an overgrown, overdeveloped tangle of muddy roads where wooden shacks casually mix with colonial buildings. The main street is packed with stands that sell coffee and fritters, tables full of dubious-looking vegetables and meat, and the omnipresent little convenience stores that sell little more than candy and basic toiletries. Enormous trucks constantly roar through the city, making their way through armies of rickshaws and taxi brousse. Confused, attention-seeking roosters crow all day long. The sky is often grey, with a fine rain coming down, and clothes never really get dry. Madagasikara Voakajy's office is at the end of the main street, so every morning I cross Moramanga, grabbing some oversugared coffee and some sweet bread on the way. The Malagasy version of hash browns is also available in some stands, making a good breakfast alternative to bread. The office is in a quieter area of Moramanga, and the only noise comes from children going to the nearby school. Well, that, and the usual needy roosters. You really can't escape those. The team here is working on the new Mangabe forest reserve, which MV is promoting and supporting. The critically endangered golden mantella frog is found in the forest and it is one of the main focuses of the organization's work in Mangabe.
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Red Lands
Communities
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 14:28
Red lands_3 I just got back from my first field mission in a rural community in eastern Madagascar. The village of Antsiradava, literally meaning the long beach, is located in Ambatondrazaka district. A handful of mud houses with straw roofs are scattered around the red dirt road - all around it, agricultural fields, zebu pens, and a few fruit trees. Red dust covers every single building, villager, or farm animal, and there are quite a few of those. Shepherds lead small herds of zebus through the main road, and hordes of chicken, geese and ducks chase each other among the houses. Hungry-looking dogs and barefoot children complete the picture. When the sun is out it's pleasant enough to stay out in the streets, sipping some warm coke – no electricity for the fridge, here – but during the Malagasy winter a fine rain often falls on the dusty village.
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Mangabe-Ranomena-Sasarotra 2013 Festival in Ampahitra
Communities
Written by Julie Razafimanahaka   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 16:47

Festival Mangabe 2013_II

The 2013 Mangabe festival was held on 25th May 2013 in Ampahitra, a small village 13km south of Moramanga, on the way to Anosibe An'Ala, and at the edge of Mangabe-Ranomena-Sahasarotra, a new protected area. Annually, since 2011, this festival is organized by Madagasikara Voakajy and the community-based organizations involved in the management of this new protected area. The festival aims to raise the profile of the golden mantella frog amongst the stakeholders in Mangabe and encourage the communities living within and around this new protected area to engage in the conservation of this emblematic species and its habitat.

 

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A conservation strategy for the Antanosy gecko
Geckoes
Written by Julie Razafimanahaka   
Friday, 03 August 2012 16:46

The Antanosy gecko, Phelsuma antanosy, is Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Red List. It is only found in the Anosy Region, in southeastern Madagascar, particularly around the QMM mining area. A workshop aiming to develop a Conservation Strategy for this species was organized on 13-15th June 2012 at the Hotel Marina, Fort-Dauphin.

The vision for the conservation of the species, defined at the workshop was: "The conservation and sustainable use of the Antanosy gecko and its habitats by all stakeholders enhance the development of Anosy Region". Three goals, nine specific objectives and 90 actions were defined. The Strategy document will be available in November 2012.

The workshop has seen the participation of local communities, local and regional authorities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and conservation organizations working in the Region. We are grateful to all participants and funders: Fauna and Flora International and Qit Minerals Madagascar.

 


 
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