Madagascar Fauna Group

Morafeno, Madagascar

Madagascar Fauna Group

Morafeno, Madagascar
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Bollen A.,FERN | Weldon C.,North West University South Africa | Dalton D.L.,National Zoological Gardens of South Africa | Dalton D.L.,University of the Free State | And 5 more authors.
African Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2014

Amphibians are threatened globally by the chytridiomycete fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is still expanding in range. Madagascar, rich in amphibian diversity, remains one of the few places that the fungus has not invaded. Herein, we present results from a pilot survey for Bd in conjunction with a rapid amphibian survey conducted at Ivoloina Park, a forestry station near Toamasina, eastern Madagascar. This park is located on the south-western side of the Ivoloina River in a former lowland rainforest now predominantly covered by plantations of exotic trees. Our amphibian survey confirmed the presence of 12 anuran species identified by both morphology and molecular barcoding and revealed the presence of four candidate species. Real-time polymerase chain reaction screening for the presence of Bd showed that all 59 samples tested negative, thus confirming the absence of the pathogen in this area. Our survey of Ivoloina provides the first species list for a suburban park in Madagascar complemented with chytridiomycosis screening. © 2013 © 2013 Herpetological Association of Africa.


Rosa G.M.,University of Lisbon | Rosa G.M.,University of Kent | Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Crottini A.,TU Braunschweig | And 7 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

The Strict Nature Reserve of Betampona protects one of the last remaining relicts (about 2,228 ha) of low elevation rainforests in eastern Madagascar. Yet little has been previously published about the amphibian fauna of this rainforest. During 2004 and 2007, Betampona was surveyed over a total period of 102 days. Frogs were searched by opportunistic searching, pitfall trapping and acoustic surveys. The survey work confirmed the occurrence of 76 taxa, of which 36 are currently candidate species and about 30% were first considered as undescribed species. The identification of species included a multidimensional and integrative approach that links morphology, bioacoustics, ecology and genetics. Of these taxa, 24 species are potentially endemic to this low elevation eastern region. Considering the relatively small area of the Betampona forest, and its narrow elevational range, 76 amphibian species represents an unusually high richness compared to other sites in Madagascar. Although the eastern region is now largely deforested, our results reveal the importance of this relict forest, which is protecting a diverse amphibian fauna that includes many potentially endemic species. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Schmidt D.A.,University of Missouri | Iambana R.B.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Britt A.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Junge R.E.,Saint Louis Zoo | And 3 more authors.
Zoo Biology | Year: 2010

The purpose of this study was to quantify the concentrations of crude protein, fat, ash, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin, nonstructural carbohydrates, and gross energy in plant foods consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and selenium concentrations were also determined. A total of 122 samples from 33 plant families and more than 60 species were collected and analyzed for their nutritional content. The specific nutrient needs of black and white ruffed lemurs are unknown, but quantifying the nutritional composition of the foods they consume in the wild will help nutritionists and veterinarians formulate more appropriate diets for captive ruffed lemurs. This information will also supply information on how man-induced habitat changes affect the nutritional composition of foods consumed by free-ranging lemurs. Zoo Biol 29:375-396, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Rasambainarivo F.T.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Rasambainarivo F.T.,University of Missouri | Junge R.E.,Saint Louis Zoo | Lewis R.J.,Speedway
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2014

Evaluation of the health, prevalence, and incidence of diseases in wild populations is a critical component of wildlife management. In addition, the establishment of reference physiologic parameters can contribute to the assessment of population risks. Complete medical evaluations were performed on 33 wild Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) from Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar, during two field captures in June 2010 and June 2011. Each animal received a complete physical examination: weight, body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded, and ectoparasites collected. Blood samples were collected for complete blood cell count, differential white blood cell count, hemoparasite examination, serum biochemical profile, fat-soluble vitamin analysis, trace mineral analysis, and toxoplasmosis and viral serology. Fecal samples were collected for bacterial culture and endoparasite examination. Significant differences exist between age classes for neutrophil and lymphocyte count, alkaline phosphatase, and creatinine values. Parasites detected were Callistoura sp., Bertiella lemuriformis, and Dipetalonema petteri. This publication reports the first complete biomedical evaluation of the P. verreauxi and provides a basis for hematologic and biochemical comparisons of P. verreauxi in the wild. © 2014 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Rosa G.M.,University of Kent | Rosa G.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Rosa G.M.,University of Lisbon | Crottini A.,University of Porto | And 4 more authors.
Salamandra | Year: 2014

We describe a new arboreal and diminutive species of the genus Platypelis from the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale N. 1 de Betampona, one of the last low-altitude rainforest fragments of eastern Madagascar. P. karenae sp. nov. is a phytotelmic species, living among leaves of Pandanus spp. and those of a herbaceous plant of the genus Crinum. Amongst species of comparable size, the new species is most similar to P. tetra, with which it shares a similar life history of occupying leaf axils of phytotelms. Phylogenetically, P. karenae is sister to P. tuberifera yet differentiated by a high level of genetic divergence (>7% p-distance for the analysed fragment of the 16S rRNA gene), its distinctly smaller size, acoustic repertoire, and colour pattern. The mitochondrial, nuclear, bioacoustic, and morphological data all independently support the validity of this new species. © 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT), Mannheim, Germany.


Andreone F.,Museo Regionale di Science Naturali | Rosa G.M.,University of Lisbon | Noel J.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Vences M.,TU Braunschweig | And 2 more authors.
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2010

We describe a new mantelline frog of the genus Blommersia found in rainforest in North East Madagascar, from the protected areas of Ambatovaky, Betampona, Masoala, and Zahamena. Blommersia angolafa n.sp. is a small frog, with a body size of 17-21 mm, expanded finger and toe tips, and colouration ranging from yellow to dark brown, with pale-bluish spots on the flanks and light tips of fingers and toes. A peculiar aspect characterising this new species is its novel life history and reproductive mode. Both sexes live and breed in a phytotelmic habitat of water accumulated within fallen prophylls and fallen leaf sheaths of at least three species of Dypsis palms. Within these phytotelmata, egg laying and complete larval development occur. Thus, B. angolafa n.sp. represents a new evolutionary lineage of Malagasy frogs in which phytotelmy is known. Up to now, reproduction in phytotelmata in Malagasy frogs has been reported for many cophyline microhylids, most species of Guibemantis, Mantella laevigata, and possibly in a still-undescribed species belonging to the genus Spinomantis. We consider the reproductive mode of B. angolafa as a derived character, having evolved from the more typical reproduction in lentic water bodies. The general scarcity of lentic habitats in Malagasy rainforests may have provided the conditions that favoured the evolution of this phytotelmic breeding strategy. The new species, being specialised to a habitat represented by a few selected Dypsis species, potentially suffers the selective exploitation of these palms. © Springer-Verlag 2010.


Ghulam A.,Saint Louis University | Freeman K.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Bollen A.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Ripperdan R.,Saint Louis University | Porton I.,Saint Louis Zoo
International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) | Year: 2011

Radarsat-2 quad-pol data (C band) and both dual and quad-pol Phased Array L band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) data are used to map invasive plant species and forest degradation in Betampona Natural Reserve, Madagascar. Polarimetric feature parameters including the amplitude of the HH-VV correlation coefficient, the polarization ratio HH/VV, the polarimetric phase differences and the linear depolarization ratio (HV/VV) are explored to indentify forest clusters and tree species. A full coherency matrix, a Freeman-Durden model based decomposition and a Cloud-Pottier eigenvalue-eigenvector decomposition are tested following a polarimetric speckle filtering procedure based on the Refined Lee filter. Then, Wishart unsupervised classification is performed, and the results are validated against ground truthing. Our results show that PALSAR polarimetric data holds great promise as a comprehensive survey method for the presence of invasive plant species in tropical rainforest. © 2011 IEEE.


Rasambainarivo F.T.,Madagascar Fauna Group | Junge R.E.,St. Louis Zoo
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2010

Infections with gastrointestinal parasites may be a major threat to lemurs kept in captivity, as they are a common cause of diarrhea. In this study, fecal egg count patterns and clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal nematodes were assessed for 12 mo in 40 lemurs kept under different husbandry and climatic conditions at two sites in Madagascar. Involved species were black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), eastern grey bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur griseus), greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus), red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer), common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus), crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus), and Sclater's black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons). At site 1 (Tsimbazaza Zoological Park), lemurs were kept in small enclosures with daily cleaning of the cement soiling and without routine anthelmintic program, whereas at site 2 (Ivoloina Zoological Park), lemurs received routine anthelmintic prophylaxis and were housed in small enclosure with daily cleaning of sandy soil enclosures. A total of five genera of nematode eggs from the orders Strongylida, Oxyurida, and Enoplida were recovered and identified from 198 out of 240 samples (83) at site 1 and 79 (189 out of 240) at site 2 with the use of a modified McMaster technique. Significant differences were found for parasites from the order Strongylida between the two sites. The differences may be due to climate conditions and the presumed life cycle of these parasites. No significant differences were found for parasites from the other orders. No significant differences were noted between sexes or between seasons. No clinical signs of parasitic gastroenteritis were seen in either lemur collection. Copyright 2010 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

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