Antananarivo, Madagascar
Antananarivo, Madagascar

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PubMed | Madagasikara Voakajy, University of Antananarivo, Museo Regionale di Science Naturali, Ministere de lEnvironnement et des Forets and 17 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascars endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the islands mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises.Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas.With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and western regions of Madagascar and this study highlights the importance of these arid regions to conserving the islands biodiversity.


Ralisata M.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Andriamboavonjy F.R.,University of Antananarivo | Rakotondravony D.,University of Antananarivo | Ravoahangimalala O.R.,University of Antananarivo | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2010

We studied the social organization, use of foraging habitat, roost switching and diet of the sucker-footed bat Myzopoda aurita in south-eastern Madagascar. All 138 bats caught were males, 18 of which were selected for radio-tracking. The areas individual bats used for foraging varied between 7 and 108 ha (100% minimum convex polygon). Bats foraged close the roost for the first hour after emergence, then travelled up to 1.8 km away. Compositional analysis revealed that they selected coffee plantations, degraded humid forest and wooded grassland more than any other habitats. All 133 roosts located consisted of the partially unfurled leaves of Ravenala madagascariensis and housed between nine and 51 individuals. Bats changed roosts every 1-5 days. Their diet comprised mainly of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. No ectoparasites were observed. Myzopoda aurita is one of the few mammals endemic to Madagascar that uses disturbed patches of vegetation and is not therefore threatened by deforestation, although it may be affected by loss of roosts for building materials. The search for females continues. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.


Ralisata M.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Ralisata M.,University of Antananarivo | Rakotondravony D.,University of Antananarivo | Racey P.A.,University of Exeter
Acta Chiropterologica | Year: 2015

Here we expand our previous study to provide more detailed information on the relationship between the male eastern sucker-footed bat Myzopoda aurita and the traveler's tree Ravenala madagascariensis in south-eastern Madagascar, during six month-long field work sessions carried out over two years. We caught 593 bats, 229 newly caught and 364 recaptures, exclusively males, roosting in 37 day roosts in the partially unfurled central leaves of R. madagascariensis. No bats were found in any other roosting situation. To analyse potential roost availability, we monitored partially unfurled central leaves on R. madagascarienis on four transects and 12% appeared suitable as M. aurita roosts. These leaves took three to 25 days to unfurl, and roosts became available between one and 19 days after unfurling commenced. Day roosts were occupied for one to 12 days. Bats were more likely to occupy roosts in taller trees. The size of roosting groups varied between one and 36 individuals. Movements of bats between roosts were recorded on 35 occasions and between two and nine individuals of M. aurita found in one roost were subsequently found together in a different roost. Myzopoda aurita occurs in degraded forests and anthropogenic habitats of eastern Madagascar where it may be affected by loss of roosts since R. madagascariensis is used extensively for building and thatching houses. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS.


Randrianantoandro C.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Razafimahatratra B.,University of Antananarivo | Soazandry M.,University of Antananarivo | Ratsimbazafy J.,University of Antananarivo | And 3 more authors.
Amphibia Reptilia | Year: 2010

Information on the distribution and abundance of chameleons in Madagascar is required to develop conservation plans that integrate protected area management and sustainable use. We surveyed chameleons in eight sites in deciduous forest in Menabe, western Madagascar. Brookesia brygooi was the most frequently detected species, with a population density of 35 ha -1. Furcifer species were less common, with calculated densities of 7.2 ha -1 (F. labordi), 3.0 ha -1 (Furcifer sp.) and 1.3 ha -1 (F. oustaleti). Chameleon abundance varied according to altitude (B. brygooi) and no clear effect from logging was detected (all species). A lack of information on chameleon diurnal habitat requirements impedes a fuller assessment of the extent to which these species are tolerant to forest degradation. There were interspecific differences in the height of nocturnal perches and additional studies are needed to determine whether these are related to diurnal resource partitioning. Furcifer labordi and Furcifer sp. are of conservation concern because they are restricted to native forests in western Madagascar. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010.


Keane A.,Bangor University | Keane A.,University College London | Keane A.,UK Institute of Zoology | Hobinjatovo T.,Madagasikara Voakajy | And 4 more authors.
Animal Conservation | Year: 2012

Primates are a global conservation priority, with half of known species considered threatened with extinction. Monitoring trends in primate populations is important for identifying species in particular need of conservation action, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. Most existing primate survey methods aim to measure abundance. However, obtaining estimates of abundance with acceptable precision to detect changes in population is often expensive and time consuming. Evidence from other taxa suggests that estimating occupancy (the proportion of the area used by the species) may be less resource-intensive, yet still provide useful information for monitoring population trends. We investigate the potential of occupancy modelling for monitoring forest primates using a case study of three species of diurnal lemurs in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar. We estimated detectability and occupancy from a survey with three visits to 30 sites. Our estimates suggest that precision in occupancy estimates would be maximized by visiting a larger number of sites (therefore with limited repeat visits) for Indri indri, whereas the optimal monitoring design for Eulemur fulvus and Propithecus diadema, which showed very low detectability in our surveys, involves more frequent visits to fewer sites. Power analyses suggested that a meaningful reduction in occupancy could be detected with reasonable effort for easily detected species, but the method may prove impractical for more cryptic species. Primates pose a number of practical challenges for occupancy modelling, including choosing appropriate survey designs to satisfy closure assumptions. We suggest that if these issues can be overcome, occupancy modelling has the potential to become a valuable addition to the monitoring toolbox for the study of forest primates. © 2012 The Zoological Society of London.


Randrianandrianina F.H.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Racey P.A.,University of Aberdeen | Jenkins R.K.B.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Jenkins R.K.B.,University of Aberdeen | Jenkins R.K.B.,Bangor University
ORYX | Year: 2010

We assessed the consumption and hunting of wild animals by people in urban areas of western Madagascar using structured questionnaires in households and direct observations. Six wild mammal and five wild bird species were reported, or observed, to be sources of bushmeat although fish and domestic animals were the preferred and cheapest sources of animal protein. Bushmeat accounted for 10% of the meat consumed the day before our questionnaires were completed. Common tenrec Tenrec ecaudatus and bush pig Potamochoerus larvatus were the preferred wild meat and the former was also the most expensive type of meat. Taboos and strong dislikes limited the consumption of domestic pigs, bush pigs, goats, lemurs and fruit bats. Game species were hunted according to their availability, which coincided with the legal hunting season for fruit bats but only partly so for the other game species. Illegal hunting of Verreauxis sifaka Propithecus verreauxi is cause for concern and assessments of primate consumption may have been underestimated because of reluctance of interviewees to admit illegal activities. © 2010 Fauna & Flora International.


Razafimanahaka J.H.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Jenkins R.K.B.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Jenkins R.K.B.,Bangor University | Andriafidison D.,Madagasikara Voakajy | And 6 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2012

Abstract Information on the extent of bushmeat hunting is needed to assess the likely impact on hunted species, to provide information on the opportunity cost to local people of conservation, and to judge the efficacy of interventions at reducing pressure. However, where hunting is illegal, or socially unacceptable, respondents may not answer honestly to direct questions about hunting or consumption of bushmeat. We adapted a specialized method for investigating sensitive behaviours (the randomized response technique, RRT) and questioned 1,851 people in Madagascar about their consumption of six species, using either RRT or direct questions. For most species at most sites RRT and direct questions returned similar estimates of the proportion of the population who had consumed bushmeat in the previous year. However, RRT resulted in significantly higher estimates of bushmeat consumption in communities surrounding a protected area, where conservation activities made such questions sensitive. RRT has been predominately used in Europe and the USA; we demonstrate that it can provide a valuable approach for studying rule-breaking among people with poor literacy in low income countries. Between 12 and 33% of people across our sites had eaten brown lemur (Eulemur spp.), and 12-29% had eaten sifaka (Propithecus spp.) in the previous year. These results add to the growing body of evidence that hunting of protected species in Madagascar is a serious problem requiring urgent action. Conservation interventions to tackle bushmeat hunting will make questions about hunting or consumption more sensitive, increasing the need for researchers to use appropriate approaches for asking sensitive questions. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.


Jenkins R.K.B.,Bangor University | Jenkins R.K.B.,University of Kent | Keane A.,Bangor University | Rakotoarivelo A.R.,Madagasikara Voakajy | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Understanding the patterns of wild meat consumption from tropical forests is important for designing approaches to address this major threat to biodiversity and mitigate potential pathways for transmission of emerging diseases. Bushmeat consumption has been particularly poorly studied in Madagascar, one of the world's hottest biodiversity hotspots. Studying bushmeat consumption is challenging as many species are protected and researchers must consider the incentives faced by informants. Using interviews with 1154 households in 12 communes in eastern Madagascar, as well as local monitoring data, we investigated the importance of socio-economic variables, taste preference and traditional taboos on consumption of 50 wild and domestic species. The majority of meals contain no animal protein. However, respondents consume a wide range of wild species and 95% of respondents have eaten at least one protected species (and nearly 45% have eaten more than 10). The rural/urban divide and wealth are important predictors of bushmeat consumption, but the magnitude and direction of the effect varies between species. Bushmeat species are not preferred and are considered inferior to fish and domestic animals. Taboos have provided protection to some species, particularly the Endangered Indri, but we present evidence that this taboo is rapidly eroding. By considering a variety of potential influences on consumption in a single study we have improved understanding of who is eating bushmeat and why. Evidence that bushmeat species are not generally preferred meats suggest that projects which increase the availability of domestic meat and fish may have success at reducing demand. We also suggest that enforcement of existing wildlife and firearm laws should be a priority, particularly in areas undergoing rapid social change. The issue of hunting as an important threat to biodiversity in Madagascar is only now being fully recognised. Urgent action is required to ensure that heavily hunted species are adequately protected. © 2011 Jenkins et al.


Randriamamonjy V.C.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Keane A.,University of Edinburgh | Razafimanahaka H.J.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Jenkins R.K.B.,Global Species Programme | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Mining can have serious biodiversity consequences and many mining operations take steps to mitigate their impacts. Evaluating their success poses a significant challenge because appropriate counterfactuals (what would have happened in the absence of the mine) are often unavailable. We aimed to estimate the effects of education and enforcement measures carried out by a large mine in eastern Madagascar on local consumption of illegal bushmeat. We adopt a quasi-experimental approach and use an interview technique designed to reduce sensitivity biases to compare levels of consumption amongst mine employees and people living within the mine's intervention area with those of statistically matched control groups, and to relate differences to respondents' knowledge of relevant wildlife laws. Consumption was lower, and awareness of the law higher, amongst mine employees and those living in the mine's intervention area. However caution should be applied in interpreting these results as evidence of the effectiveness of anti-bushmeat efforts by the mine due to potential confounding factors: for example abundance of bushmeat species may vary between the study areas, and our method may not have completely removed the sensitivity of questions about illegal consumption. This illustrates the challenges of evaluating conservation impacts. We highlight the low level of understanding of wildlife laws, including among mine employees, and suggest better communication of these laws, as part of an education programme, could be a useful first step towards reducing illegal hunting. © 2015 .


Rakotomamonjy S.N.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Rakotomamonjy S.N.,University of Antananarivo | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University | Razafimanahaka J.H.,Madagasikara Voakajy | And 4 more authors.
Animal Conservation | Year: 2015

Environmental education is widely used to increase awareness of conservation issues. The theory is that increasing knowledge will improve attitudes towards the environment. Often, environmental education is aimed at children with the assumption that this can also impact adults through intergenerational transfer of knowledge and attitudes. However, there are few detailed studies evaluating the effectiveness of environmental education on changing knowledge and attitudes, and whether any changes do transfer between generations. We evaluate the effect of a school-based education programme run by Malagasy researchers aimed at promoting lemur conservation in Eastern Madagascar. We assess changes in the knowledge and attitudes of participating children and their parents (surveying 126 children and 88 parents across four matched villages, 1 year after two of the villages received environmental education). There was very low awareness of the law protecting lemurs. Attitudes towards lemurs varied between species; with the aye-aye (considered scary) and the eastern lesser bamboo lemur (considered a pest) being less preferred. Children in villages who received environmental education had higher knowledge about lemurs and more positive attitudes than children in the villages not exposed to the environmental education. Knowledge about lemurs among parents where children had received environmental education was also higher (although not attitudes). Environmental education programmes can have a lasting effect, certainly on knowledge, but engagement of the research and NGO community is needed to build the capacity of teachers in rural areas to enthuse their pupils about ecology and conservation issues. © 2014 The Zoological Society of London.

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