project news

Madagascar under threat

News item submitted by Alex Baker
News item dated 2 Dec 2010

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Environmentalists are warning that much of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity may be under threat from an increase in illegal logging, resulting from the country’s recent political troubles.

Conservationists had made good progress in recent years in their efforts against slash and burn land clearance and illegal logging, resulting in the government placing six million hectares of land under protection and backing a number of eco-friendly community projects and sustainable farming initiatives. However, many of these positive environmental gains seem to have been forgotten in the wake of the current uncertain political climate, placing Madagascar’s remaining forest flora and fauna at risk.

The political turmoil has hit international investment and aid donations to the country, and has also seen tourism in Madagascar drop to 40% of its normal levels, placing further pressure on the island’s population and ecology. This means that the work being carried out by the Frontier Madagascar is more important than ever.

The Frontier Madagascar Forest Project team have been busy surveying the fauna and flora in various forests close to base camp in the north of the island. Using a mixture of techniques, the team are currently hoping to piece together a better picture of the small mammal, bird and insect species present in the area. It is hoped that based on these data, a more sustainable management plan can be devised for Madagascar’s northern forests, and therefore avoid irreparably damaging these unique ecosystems that so many livelihoods depend on.

Read more about our Madagascar Wildlife Conservation Adventure.