project news

Bird is the Word

News item submitted by Jyot Jabbal
News item dated 26 Oct 2010


Madagascar is best known for hosting a wealth of species unique to the country. Together with amphibians, reptiles and mammals, birds comprise a significant part of the indigenous wildlife. In recent years, 181 endemic species have been recorded by Conservation International, and many more are discovered annually.

Our Frontier team in northern Madagascar have been hard at work compiling a database of birds identified in unprotected dry deciduous forest fragments situated between Montagne d’Ambre National Park and Ankarana Special Reserve. The numbers were recorded across various habitat types (such as grasslands, forests, and disturbed habitats).

The Madagascar Bulbul (Hypsipetes madagascariensis) was recorded in markedly high numbers, followed by the Crested Drongo (Dicrurus forficatus), Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) and Madagascar Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis, Pictured). The success of these surveys means that Frontier will continue to develop and refine the survey methodology to be able to gain a better understanding of species assemblages in the different habitats, including the ones heavily disturbed by human activities such as deforestation.

The reliance of avifauna on the forest ecosystem makes it crucial to identify the bird species present, their habitat and their resources. In addition, in order to ensure the species the most reliant on the forests can survive in the long term, measures will need to be put into place to restrict deforestation and overexploitation of the environmental resources.

Picture of a Red fody

Find out more about our Madagascar Forest Project!