Our Blog

All the latest news from Madagasikara Voakajy, the Malagasy biodiversity organisation dedicated to the conservation of endemic vertebrates and their habitats in Madagascar.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.