Chances for Nature in Madagascar

Education, conservation science and development for the protection of biodiversity

Since 88 million years isolated from the rest of the world, Madagascar has developed a tremendous diversity of animals and plants that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Slash and burn agriculture, mining, illegal hunting, and logging are threatening this unique piece of nature.

Chances for Nature is working with local communities to promote a sustainable lifestyle. We educate and sensitize local people in sustainable techniques of resource use and support changes in behavior to conserve Madagascar’s unique ecosystems and threatened species. Furthermore, CfN supports biodiversity conservation science, such as monitoring of endangered species and threats as well as the causes and effects of humans on nature and wildlife.

Our activities in Madagascar are focused on the Biodiversity of the Menabe Antimena Protected Area (MANAP). The MANAP was officially created in 2015 as a protected harmonious landscape (IUCN cat. V). This area holds one of the most significant remaining fragments of western dry deciduous forests in Madagascar. The dry deciduous forests of Western Madagascar are considered one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. The MANAP also includes mangroves and two freshwater lakes, which are essential refuges for migrating and stationary birds. The dry forests of the MANAP have been subject to dramatic deforestation rates in the past decade due to uncontrolled-slash-and-burn agriculture (hatsake in local Malagasy language) for corn and peanut production. Anthropogenic pressures also include illegal wildlife hunting and logging of precious woods. The biodiversity of the MANAP is extraordinary. It includes more than 300 species of plants, 15 species of amphibians, 54 reptiles, 149 species of birds, and 41 species of mammals. Among them, the smallest primate of the world, Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), the Giant-Jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena), and the Narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) all of which are local or regional endemic to the dry forests of Menabe-Antimena.

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