VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for Madagascar
By Alison Clausen
Today marks the U.N. International Day of Forests. I was asked recently for an “elevator pitch” in 25 words or less on why we should invest resources in saving tropical forests and, in particular, in tropical forests in Madagascar. To those of us working in conservation, this question seems like a no-brainer, so at first I took the question with a grain of salt. However, my questioner persisted and it made me realize both that it is not a no-brainer for everyone – particularly given the competing priorities for peoples’ attention – and that for the conservation community we need to be able to answer such questions if we are to engage people in our work.
“Diseases track human migrations all throughout history,” says Amy Winter. What will that mean as people move to adapt to the changing climate?
A test project building tree boxes gives Madagascar’s charismatic primates a new housing option in dwindling forests.
Madagascar, with its unique biodiversity and rapidly growing and predominantly poor, rural population is typically found on the ‘top ten’ of countries the most vulnerable to climate change. Yet climate solutions exist and are, in fact, already working. What Madagascar – and arguably much of the rest of the developing world – now requires is an assured and sustainable source of financing to help scale up these initiatives to have an effect at the national and international level.
“The true biologist deals with life,” says my favorite author, “with teeming boisterous life, and learns something from it, learns that the first rule of life is living.” After thirteen months in Madagascar, I will dare to call myself a biologist—one who has learned truly what it means to live.
Ghostly figures in charcoal appear to show a now extinct primate from Madagascar succumbing to a human hunter.
By Dr. Emily Darling
With colleagues from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), we recently surveyed the first community-led Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Madagascar. These areas provide genuine hope for coral reef conservation and small-scale fisheries management under the shadow of emerging oil and gas development, deforestation, illegal fishing and climate change.
A month ago, fresh from the intellectual stimulation of a scientific conference, I blogged about coevolving pathogens. Today, my hair is grown long and wild, my jeans threadbare, my shoes in tatters, and once more, I feel at a very far distance from that academic other-world in which I also live.
Studying bats in Madagascar, Cara Brook reflects on what the small things can tell us about the big picture.
A recent NG Genographic Legacy Fund project is preserving generations of stories and information associated with medicine in Madagascar.
The rain patters on outside my window, but there is something magical and mysterious about Madagascar that makes me as happy as I have ever been.
“About three years ago I noticed that the high tides were coming up into my rice fields, and taking the soil away with them. I’d never seen that before,” Philippe, a rice farmer from the village of Ambalahonko, tells me from under his wide-brimmed straw hat; something my fair-skinned and fine-haired self, unfortunately, did not…
By Graeme Patterson
It has been a decade since viewers first encountered the popular penguins of the crowd-pleasing Madagascar movie franchise. In the 2005 hit, the penguins eventually find their way to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean along with their old friends from the Central Park Zoo: a zebra, lion, giraffe and a hippo who accidentally got dropped off there. Adventures ensue, the running joke is that these visitors are all out of place on Madagascar, as indeed they are. Or are they?
We finish our expedition to Mozambique’s sky islands focused heavily on whether remaining fragments of forest can be conserved. I had expected to find new species and see beautiful forests, but I had not expected the destruction—or my poignant reaction to it.
In the ancestor worshipping religion practiced across Madagascar’s 18 tribes, the zebu – a species of domestic cattle originating in South Asia – is integral to marking life’s milestones. When a child gets its first haircut, the clippings are stirred into zebu back fat and eaten by family members with a rum chaser; when a…