In February 2016, Madagasikara Voakajy officially joined IUCN as a member. For the past ten years, members of our team have been part of the IUCN/SSC. This opportunity will allow us to engage more in IUCN’s vision and mission, and network with other IUCN members. We are grateful to Rainforest Trust and Fauna and Flora International for supporting our membership application.
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.
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.
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 ( Bat News Winter 2015).
Management Plan - Ampotaka/Ankorabe New Protected Area. November 2014
Management Plan - Ambatofotsy New Protected Area. November 2014.
Madagasikara Voakajy uses conservation science and community participation to protect endemic Malagasy species and their habitats. We currently have projects devoted to chameleons, frogs, bats, and baobabs and a number of cross-programme strategies allow these different activities to be integrated..
1. Livelihoods and exploitation
It is important to understand how biodiversity functions as an economic resource and whether it provides opportunities for conservation or threats to populations and habitats. We are interested in the consumption of wild animals (bats, lemurs, frogs) by people and how this contributes to income generation and food security. The threats associated with bushmeat are also being explored, and these include the risk of pathogen transfer from animals to people and the consequences of unsustainable exploitation on population persistence. We are also investigating other ways that our focal species may be exploited to improve livelihoods, including ecotourism, direct payments for conservation and community-benefits for trade in CITES Appendix II species.
2. Applied research and conservation science
Decisions about conservation management and resource allocation are best made with robust scientific data that holds up to scrutiny. We therefore strive to conduct high quality research and publish it in peer-reviewed journals. Where possible we make our research projects relevant to conservation and livelihoods. For example, we are using results from a studies on diet and movements by flying foxes to promote their conservation as seed dispersers. Only though a better understanding of the ecology our our focal species can we hope to tailor appropriate conservation plans.
3. Education and Capacity Building
Education is the conrnerstone of community conservation and we always engage local people in the sites where we work. Indeed, our focal species tend to either be unprotected (e.g. bats), occur outside of protected areas (e.g. Mantella aurantiaca) or are neglected by other conservation teams (e.g. chameleons) and community participation and cooperation is therefore essential.
4. Site-based Conservation
Increasingly we are becoming involved in conserving critical habitats for our focal species. These sites are usually small forest fragments that have been overlooked in conservation planning but are vital for the survival of certain fruit bats as well as threatened amphibians.