tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/madagascar1 madagascar news from mongabay.com 2014-11-25T16:11:55Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14066 2014-11-24T20:24:00Z 2014-11-25T16:11:55Z Chameleon crisis: extinction threatens 36% of world's chameleons <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Kinyongia-tenuis-158-copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chameleons are an unmistakable family of wonderfully bizarre reptiles. They sport long, shooting tongues; oddly-shaped horns or crests; and a prehensile tail like a monkey's. But, chameleons are most known for their astonishing ability to change the color of their skin. Now, a update of the IUCN Red List finds that this unique group is facing a crisis that could send dozens of chameleons, if not more, to extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14026 2014-11-16T23:19:00Z 2014-11-16T23:24:16Z New gecko described in Madagascar Researchers have described a previously undocumented species of gecko in Madagascar. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13857 2014-10-01T21:53:00Z 2014-10-14T18:26:42Z Small chocolate company takes big steps toward conservation and human development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911choco150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madécasse is not just another chocolate company selling their bars in high-end supermarkets across the United States and Europe. Their bean-to-bar business model is shaping the way small companies deal with the developing world while providing new reasons to conserve a biodiversity hotspot. Tiffany Roufs -19.453994 45.999499 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13743 2014-09-05T02:12:00Z 2014-09-05T11:28:23Z A path to becoming a conservation scientist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0824-ysi-zuzana-burivalova-04_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to finding a career often involves twists and turns. Serendipity is important &#8212; one rarely anticipates what small events, chance occurrences, and seeds of inspiration will spur decisions that lead to pursuing one job or another. For Zuzana Burivalova, a PhD candidate based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), the road to becoming a tropical forest ecologist began as a child in a small Czech Republic village with a foldout children's book about rainforests. Rhett Butler 15.742693 50.043311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13693 2014-08-20T22:55:00Z 2014-08-20T23:03:13Z New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0820.madfrog2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species&#8212;dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog&#8212;is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened. Jeremy Hance 14°22.82'S 47°45.46'E tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13660 2014-08-13T17:37:00Z 2014-11-25T22:14:11Z Titanium vs. Millipedes: new species discovered in Madagascar threatened by mining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813-millipede-2-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A team of scientists from the United States and Germany has recently described seven new species of Malagasy giant pill-millipede. All but one of these species are considered “microendemics,” in that they have only been found in small, isolated forest patches. Morgan Erickson-Davis -24.544962 45.285388 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13652 2014-08-12T03:52:00Z 2014-08-12T03:57:02Z China failing to take effective action against timber smugglers Voluntary guidelines established by the Chinese government won't be enough to curb rampant timber smuggling by Chinese companies, putting 'responsible' actors at risk of having their reputations tarnished, argues a new campaign by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13533 2014-07-14T16:07:00Z 2014-07-17T16:00:14Z Only 15 percent of world's biodiversity hotspots left intact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0714.Atlantic-Rainforest-Intervales.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's 35 biodiversity hotspots&#8212;which harbor 75 percent of the planet's endangered land vertebrates&#8212;are in more trouble than expected, according to a sobering new analysis of remaining primary vegetation. In all less than 15 percent of natural intact vegetation is left in the these hotspots, which include well-known jewels such as Madagascar, the tropical Andes, and Sundaland. Jeremy Hance -24.263585 -48.415697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13523 2014-07-10T15:08:00Z 2014-07-10T15:26:56Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Rewards for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0710.louis.Dr.-Ed-Louis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr. are the powerhouse team behind the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), an NGO that involves local residents&#8212;both human and primate&#8212;in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. A conservation geneticist and veterinarian by training, Ed Louis has discovered 21 lemur species and successfully reintroduced two species of locally extinct lemurs back into the wild. Jeremy Hance -21.380746 47.867042 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13393 2014-06-16T18:42:00Z 2014-06-16T20:07:50Z Over 800 species added to IUCN threatened list, including 44 lemurs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/madagascar_5748.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Experts have added 817 species to the threatened categories of the IUCN Red List in the latest update. Those added include 51 mammals&#8212;mostly lemurs&#8212;and over 400 plants. The new update finds that over 90 percent of lemurs and 79 percent of temperate slipper orchids are threatened with extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13332 2014-06-03T20:58:00Z 2014-11-03T23:49:24Z Singapore intercepts massive illegal shipment of Madagascar rosewood <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0603sri-lank-rosewood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Authorities in Singapore have made the largest-ever international seizure of rosewood logs, providing further evidence that industrial-scale smuggling of Madagascar's rainforest timber continues despite an official ban on the trade. Details of the seizure remain sparse since the investigation is still active, but leaked correspondence between officials in Madagascar indicates that the shipment amounts to 3,000 tons, or more than 29,000 illicit rosewood logs. Rhett Butler -14.901171 50.282244 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13273 2014-05-22T19:29:00Z 2014-05-22T21:13:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Linking public health and environmental degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Madagascar2-061.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Christopher Golden is an explorer on a mission. As both an epidemiologist and ecologist, he is investigating and expanding the interface between human and ecosystem health. This year, Golden was appointed the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society's HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages</a>) Program. Jeremy Hance -15.508300 49.598895 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13242 2014-05-17T22:30:00Z 2014-05-17T22:37:31Z Lemur expert becomes first woman to win top conservation prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0518wright150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lemur expert Patricia C. Wright has become the first woman to win the prestigious Indianapolis Prize, an award granted every two years for achievement in wildlife conservation. Wright was chosen for her contributions to wildlife conservation in Madagascar, where she's worked with lemurs for nearly 30 years. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13228 2014-05-15T13:33:00Z 2014-05-15T16:09:03Z Vazaha is Malagasy for 'gringo': Conservation, national identity, and conflicting interest in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0514.madagascar_lemurs_0026.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the fight for conservation Madagascar is without a doubt on the front lines. Not only are most of its forests already destroyed&#8212;with a mere 10% of intact forest remaining at best—but there's still much to lose in what remains. Madagascar is listed as having the third highest primate diversity in the world, with all primate species being lemurs. Jeremy Hance -21.380718 47.867544 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13070 2014-04-11T15:53:00Z 2014-11-25T23:15:40Z Amphibian pandemic may have hit Madagascar, hundreds of species at risk of infection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0411-madchytrid-swab-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar is one of the world’s hotspots for amphibian diversity, home to so many frog species that many of them don’t even have names. But soon the island may also harbor a fungus causing drastic declines – even extinctions – of frogs around the world. Ironically, the wildlife trade that’s often blamed for helping spread the disease may also give scientists a chance to prevent it. Morgan Erickson-Davis -18.817011 48.381764 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13026 2014-04-03T18:54:00Z 2014-04-03T19:04:49Z Madagascar lemurs share spotlight with primatologist in new IMAX film Tomorrow's opening of the IMAX film <i>Island of Lemurs: Madagascar</i> showcases not only endangered primates, but one of Madagascar's top conservationists: primatologist Patricia C. Wright. Rhett Butler -21.254302 47.421774 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12957 2014-03-20T15:06:00Z 2014-03-20T15:20:59Z Panda lemur making a comeback <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0311.Andriantantely-greater-bamboo-lemur-%C2%A9-Hery-Randriahaingo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's biggest populations of greater bamboo lemurs (<i>Prolemur simus</i>)&#8212;sometimes known as the panda lemur&#8212;has doubled in just three years, giving conservationists new hope that the species can be kept from extinction. With the recent arrival of twenty babies, a community conservation project run by the Aspinall Foundation has boosted the local population to over 100 individuals in Andriantantely, one of Madagascar's only surviving lowland rainforests. Greater bamboo lemurs are currently categorized as Critically Endangered, though they were once believed extinct until hidden populations were uncovered in the 1980s. Jeremy Hance -18.700073 48.801227 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2014-02-20T19:57:27Z The lemur end-game: scientists propose ambitious plan to save the world's most imperiled mammal family <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Due to the wonderful idiosyncrasies of evolution, there is one country on Earth that houses 20 percent of the world's primates. More astounding still, every single one of these primates&#8212;an entire distinct family in fact&#8212;are found no-where else. The country is, of course, Madagascar and the primates in question are, of course, lemurs. But the far-flung island of Madagascar, once a safe haven for wild evolutionary experiments, has become an ecological nightmare. Overpopulation, deep poverty, political instability, slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging for lucrative woods, and a booming bushmeat trade has placed 94 percent of the world's lemurs under threat of extinction, making this the most imperiled mammal group on the planet. But, in order to stem a rapid march toward extinction, conservationists today publicized an emergency three year plan to safeguard 30 important lemur forests in the journal <i>Science</i>. Jeremy Hance -18.659257 48.441009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12780 2014-02-15T18:58:00Z 2014-02-16T05:33:07Z Microsoft buys Madagascar carbon credits Technology giant Microsoft has bought the first carbon credits generated under a rainforest conservation project in Madagascar, reports Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which organized and backed the initiative. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12743 2014-02-07T14:24:00Z 2014-02-07T14:26:13Z Madagascar's new president pledges to fight illegal logging Madagascar's newly elected president Hery Rajaonarimampianina pledged to 'lead the fight' against illegal rosewood logging in the impoverished island nation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12705 2014-01-30T07:48:00Z 2014-01-30T14:36:23Z NASA data reveals impact of cyclones on forests in Vietnam, Madagascar Forest disturbance in Madagascar and Vietnam increased significantly in the aftermath of cyclones that hit the countries last year, according to a forest tracking tool developed by a team of NASA researchers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12579 2013-12-26T23:48:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:36Z Rainforest news review for 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler -3.118576 -60.076675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12551 2013-12-20T04:08:00Z 2013-12-20T04:12:12Z Conservation Hail Mary works: Mate for near-extinct fish found! Researchers are celebrating after an urgent global search turned up a female mate for a fish that is on the brink of extinction. Rhett Butler -15.858481 48.877804 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12539 2013-12-18T17:35:00Z 2013-12-18T17:49:47Z Madagascar's most famous lemur facing big threats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.MakiMom.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The ring-tailed lemur (<i>Lemur catta</i>), perhaps the most well-known of Madagascar’s endemic animals, is facing a "very high" risk of extinction in the wild. The Madagascar Section of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group reassessed the Red List status of ring-tailed lemurs and upgraded the species from Near-Threatened (2008) to Endangered (2012). Ring-tailed lemurs are facing extinction in some parts of Madagascar because of continued habitat loss, and more recently, species exploitation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12492 2013-12-05T22:06:00Z 2013-12-05T23:50:20Z Like ancient humans, some lemurs slumber in caves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_5761.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After playing, feeding, and socializing in trees all day, some ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) take their nightly respite in caves, according to a new study in Madagascar Conservation and Development. The findings are important because this is the first time scientists have ever recorded primates regularly using caves (see video below). Jeremy Hance -23.680687 44.583492 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12406 2013-11-18T22:42:00Z 2013-11-18T23:38:08Z Timber smuggling continues in Madagascar Stocks of rosewood illegally harvested during in the aftermath of Madagascar's 2009 coup are being steadily smuggled off the Indian Ocean island, reports a paper published in the journal <i>MADAGASCAR CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12381 2013-11-14T19:04:00Z 2013-11-14T19:19:19Z Scientists identify 137 protected areas most important for preserving biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1114.Varecia-rubra_R.A.Mittermeier.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save the world's biodiversity from mass extinction? Then make certain to safeguard the 74 sites identified today in a new study in <i>Science</i>. Evaluating 173,000 terrestrial protected areas, scientists pulled out the most important ones for global biodiversity based on the number of threatened mammals, birds, and amphibians found in the parks. In all they identified 137 protected areas (spread over 74 sites as many protected areas were in the same region) in 34 countries as 'irreplaceable.' Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12304 2013-11-01T21:22:00Z 2013-11-01T21:25:07Z Bolivia, Madagascar, China see jump in forest loss Loss of forest cover increased sharply in Bolivia, Madagascar, and Ecuador during the third quarter of 2013, according to an update from NASA scientists. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12128 2013-09-25T18:01:00Z 2013-09-26T14:19:24Z Sonar used by oil company caused mass whale stranding in Madagascar An oil company's use of a high-frequency mapping sonar system was responsible for a mass whale stranding in northwest Madagascar in 2008, finds a new report. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12087 2013-09-17T01:14:00Z 2013-09-20T12:37:05Z Credits from first African government-backed REDD+ project go on sale <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_masoala_0556.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Carbon credits generated from protecting thousands of hectares of endangered rainforest in northeastern Madagascar have now been certified for sale, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the project's main organizer. The development represents the first time that credits generated by African government-owned project have been put on the voluntary carbon market. Rhett Butler -15.42853 49.367645 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12023 2013-09-05T18:04:00Z 2013-09-05T18:19:39Z Scientists outline how to save nearly 70 percent of the world's plant species In 2010 the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) pledged to set aside 17 percent of the world's land as protected areas in addition to protecting 60 percent of the world's plant species&#8212;through the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)&#8212;by 2020. Now a new study in Science finds that the world can achieve both ambitious goals at the same time&#8212;if only we protect the right places. Looking at data on over 100,000 flower plants, scientists determined that protecting 17 percent of the world's land (focusing on priority plant areas) would conserve 67 percent of the world's plants. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11948 2013-08-21T14:44:00Z 2013-08-21T14:51:59Z The evolution of cooperation: communal nests are best for ruffed lemurs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0821Lemur150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Raising young lemurs in communal crèches benefits both mothers and offspring, a new study has found. Andrea Baden and colleagues, of Yale University, studied a group of black-and-white ruffed lemurs (<i>Varecia variegata</i>) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. This is the first study to examine the consequences of different parenting strategies in the ruffed lemur. Tiffany Roufs -21.195936 47.443027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11929 2013-08-16T18:11:00Z 2013-08-16T19:08:27Z Deforestation alerts for Madagascar, DRC, Bolivia during Q2-2013 Loss of forest, woodland, and savanna increased sharply in Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Bolivia during the second quarter of 2013, reports a new assessment by NASA scientists. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11910 2013-08-14T06:52:00Z 2013-08-14T13:20:40Z Scientists map plan to save lemurs Primatologists and researchers have devised a wide-ranging plan to protect Madagascar's most endangered lemurs from extinction. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11899 2013-08-09T16:49:00Z 2013-08-09T16:54:29Z Does size matter (for lemur smarts, that is)? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_1545.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Does size matter? When referring to primate brain size and its relation to social intelligence, scientists at Duke University do not think the answer is a simple yes or no. In the past, scientists have correlated large brain size to large group size. However, in a new study published in PLoS ONE, scientists at Duke University provide evidence that large social networks, rather than large brains, contribute to social cognition, favoring the evolution of social intelligence. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11854 2013-07-30T03:35:00Z 2013-07-30T17:00:41Z Population of newly discovered lemur in Madagascar down to last 50 individuals (photo) Researchers have discovered a new &#8212; and critically endangered &#8212; species of lemur on the island of Madagascar. The primate is formally described in the journal <i>Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution</i>. Rhett Butler -24.868994 46.974578 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11802 2013-07-22T17:31:00Z 2013-07-22T18:37:42Z Madagascar occupied by humans 2,500 years earlier than previously thought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_2934.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New research indicates that Madagascar was occupied some 2,500 years earlier than previously established. The findings, published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>, suggests a more complex view of the human role in the extinction of the island's mega-fauna. A large body of research holds that village communities began to appear in Madagascar around 500 AD. These were established by people of Indonesian and East African heritage, according to past studies that found linguistic similarities between the Malagasy languages of southeastern Borneo as well as genetic markers tying modern-day Malagasy people to both Indonesia and East Africa. But there have been plenty of hints that people came to the world's third largest island well before 500 AD. Rhett Butler -13.371396 49.978112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11775 2013-07-16T13:42:00Z 2013-07-16T17:21:42Z Madagascar's rate of speciation slowing down While Madagascar is famous for its incredible diversity of plants and animals, a new study suggests that the island's rate of speciation has slowed to a crawl. Rhett Butler -21.320081 47.377682 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11763 2013-07-11T17:04:00Z 2013-07-20T20:26:39Z To protect themselves, lemurs learn alarm calls of other species Solitary lemurs in Madagascar rely on the alarm calls of birds and more social lemurs to evade predators, reports a study published in <i>PLoS ONE</i>. Rhett Butler -14.253735 48.832458 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11429 2013-05-14T16:39:00Z 2013-07-20T20:26:52Z Five percent of ploughshare tortoise population perishes after botched smuggling attempt In March, two people were caught attempting to smuggle 54 ploughshare tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora) into Thailand. Listed as Critically Endangered, the tortoises' wild population is down to approximately 400-500 animals in its native Madagascar, meaning the smugglers were attempting to move over 10 percent of the total population. Now, the Scientific American blog Extinction Countdown reports that nearly half of the smuggled tortoises have died of unknown causes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11403 2013-05-10T01:51:00Z 2013-07-20T20:17:47Z Aquarium launches desperate search to save a species down to 3 individuals Aquarists at ZSL London Zoo have launched a worldwide appeal to find a female mate for a fish species that is believed to have gone extinct in the wild. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11375 2013-05-05T21:00:00Z 2013-07-20T20:27:20Z Lemur has unexpectedly wide range, diversity of color variations An endangered lemur has a larger range than originally believed but is still at risk due to forest fragmentation and land clearing, reports a study published in the journal <i>Primate Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler -16.320139 44.954681 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11369 2013-05-04T14:34:00Z 2013-07-20T20:27:42Z Acting Madagascar president breaks pledge not to stand in election President Andry Rajoelina broke his pledge not to run in Madagascar's upcoming presidential election, once again throwing the political stability of the island nation into question. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11343 2013-05-02T19:42:00Z 2013-07-20T20:27:58Z Hibernating primates: scientists discover three lemur species sleep like bears <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/madagascar_3497.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bears do it, bats do it, and now we know lemurs do it too: hibernate, that is. Since 2005, scientists have known that the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur hibernates, but a new study in <i>Scientific Reports</i> finds that hibernation is more widespread among lemurs than expected. At least two additional lemur species&#8212;Crossley's dwarf lemur and Sibree's dwarf lemur&#8212;have been discovered hibernating. So far lemurs, which are only found on the island of Madagascar, are the only primates known to undergo hibernation, raising curious questions about the relationship between lemur hibernation and more well-known deep sleepers. Jeremy Hance -19.165924 46.864013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11329 2013-05-01T14:50:00Z 2013-07-20T20:28:10Z World's rarest duck on the rebound in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0501.800px-Madagascar_Pochard,_Captive_Breeding_Program,_Madagascar_4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After a final sighting in 1991, the Madagascar pochard was thought to have vanished for good. But this diving duck was rediscovered in 2006 when a flock of 22 individuals was found on Lake Matsaborimena in northern Madagascar by conservationists during an expedition. Soon after Madagascar pochard eggs were taken and incubated in a joint captive breeding program by Durrell, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the Peregrine Fund, Asity Madagascar, and Madagascar government, which recently announced that the population&#8212;both captive and wild&#8212;has nearly quadrupled. Jeremy Hance -17.500336 48.506985 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11266 2013-04-17T23:28:00Z 2013-04-18T01:04:31Z Madagascar swamped by locust invasion More than 60 percent of Madagascar is suffering from a massive locust infestation that is threatening crops and livestock, potentially increasing risks to native wildlife and forests from hungry farmers, warns the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Rhett Butler -23.329173 43.738804 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11161 2013-04-03T17:56:00Z 2013-04-04T14:13:13Z Featured video: in-depth look at Madagascar's Ranomafauna National Park A new film <i>Nosy Maitso</i> takes a look at the people, researchers, and wildlife connected to Madagascar's Ranomafauna National Park. Apart of a World Heritage Site, the park was established in 1991 after a new species of lemur, the golden bamboo lemur (<i>Hapalemur aureus</i>), was discovered in its forests in the 1980s. The golden bamboo lemur is currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Jeremy Hance -21.232582 47.428122 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11158 2013-04-03T17:12:00Z 2013-04-03T17:22:32Z Scientists discover new wasp species in a field box from the 1930s (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0403.Paramblynotus.dzangasangha.wasps.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Searching through materials at the Natural History Museum in Paris, Simon van Noort recently came across a long-neglected field box of wasp specimens. Collected 80 years earlier by André Seyrig in Madagascar, the box contained several specimens of wasp in the Paramblynotus genus. The big surprise: wasps in this genus had never before been seen in Madagascar. Jeremy Hance 48.843666 2.356056 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11137 2013-03-29T03:14:00Z 2013-03-29T05:37:43Z Madagascar's chameleons came from African mainland Madagascar's color-changing chameleons originated in Africa and crossed over to the island some 65 million years ago, concludes a study published this week in the <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11123 2013-03-27T12:23:00Z 2013-12-23T05:01:32Z 2 'giant' yet tiny mouse lemurs identified in Madagascar Scientists have discovered two new species of mouse lemurs in Madagascar, bringing the total number of diminutive primates known to science to 20. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11120 2013-03-26T20:57:00Z 2013-03-26T21:24:26Z Researchers sequence Aye-aye genome - lemur is more genetically diverse than humans Scientists sequenced the genome of the aye-aye, a bizarre lemur species, for the first time. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Rhett Butler -12.78167 49.50222 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11096 2013-03-25T14:34:00Z 2013-03-25T14:48:24Z Over ten percent of a species' total population found in smuggler's bag <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0324.malagasytortoises.IMG_1207.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, March 15th Thai authorities arrested a 38-year-old man attempting to collect a bag containing 54 ploughshare tortoises (<i>Astrochelys yniphora</i>) and 21 radiated tortoises (<i>Astrochelys radiata</i>) in Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Found only in Madagascar both species are listed as Critically Endangered and protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but have become lucrative targets for the black-market pet trade given their scarcity and beauty. Jeremy Hance 13.695005 100.750784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11059 2013-03-18T07:20:00Z 2013-03-18T11:36:49Z Deforestation in key Madagascar park accelerated after 2009 coup d'etat, finds satellite analysis Deforestation and forest disturbance in Madagascar's largest national park increased significantly less than a year after a coup displaced the country's democratically-elected president in 2009, finds a new study that analyzed forest cover in Masoala National Park. Rhett Butler -15.164393 50.082390 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11032 2013-03-12T18:07:00Z 2013-03-12T18:10:35Z Dozens of tropical trees awarded new protections at CITES Numerous species of rosewood and ebony from Madagascar, Latin America, and Southeast Asia were granted protection today at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand. The ruling comes one day after CITES granted the first protections ever to sharks and manta rays. Jeremy Hance 13.743387 100.510941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10948 2013-03-01T19:17:00Z 2013-03-03T22:46:15Z Frogs radio-tracked for first time in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0227-radio-tracking-frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have radio-tracked frogs for the first time in Madagascar. Attaching tiny radio transmitters weighing 0.3-0.35 grams (1/100 of an ounce) to 36 rainbow frogs (<i>Scaphiophryne gottlebei</i>), the research team tracked the movement of the colorful frogs through rugged canyons in Madagascar's Isalo Massif. They found that the frogs have a short breeding period that occurs after the first intense rainfall at the start of the rainy season. Rhett Butler -22.350076 45.214233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10934 2013-02-27T00:14:00Z 2013-02-27T14:50:51Z Travel in Madagascar: strange wildlife and stunning landscapes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_perinet_0244.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The promise of lemurs, lizards, and a bouquet of biodiversity brought mongabay.com founder Rhett Butler to Madagascar sixteen years ago. He was not disappointed by what he found and was inspired to return, many times to experience the wildlife, landscapes, and people of the dynamic island. In 2004, Rhett founded wildmadagascar.org, a site that highlights the spectacular cultural and biological richness of Madagascar and reports on environmental news for the Indian Ocean island nation. Rhett Butler -15.708985 49.964447 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10884 2013-02-17T06:50:00Z 2013-02-17T15:34:50Z Madagascar and Malaysian Borneo nature pictures go online Yesterday I posted over 10,000 new photos I took during late 2012 in Madagascar and Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The pictures are available in the picture section of mongabay.com: travel.mongabay.com. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10764 2013-01-27T01:54:00Z 2013-01-28T02:20:42Z UK authorizes guns for Madagascar despite threat of lemur extinctions Britain has authorized the export of thousands of guns to Madagascar, according to TanaNews.com, sparking concerns that the firearms could be used for hunting endangered lemurs. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10717 2013-01-16T22:10:00Z 2013-01-22T16:31:21Z Bloodsucking flies help scientists identify rare, hard-to-find mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0116.Calliphora_vomitoria_Portrait.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year scientists released a study that is likely to revolutionize how conservationists track elusive species. Researchers extracted the recently sucked blood of terrestrial leeches in Vietnam's remote Annamite Mountains and looked at the DNA of what they'd been feeding on: remarkably researchers were able to identify a number of endangered and rarely-seen mammals. In fact two of the species gleaned from these blood-meals had been discovered by scientists as late as the 1990s. In the past, trying to find rare and shy jungle animals required many man hours and a lot of funding. While the increasing use of remote camera traps has allowed scientists to expand their search, DNA sampling from leeches could be the next big step in simplifying (and cheapening) the quest for tracking the world's mammals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10716 2013-01-16T20:57:00Z 2013-01-16T20:58:18Z Madagascar's Rajoelina pledges not to run in presidential election Madagascar's president Andry Rajoelina on Tuesday pledged not to run in the presidential election scheduled for May, raising hopes democracy will return to the island nation, which has suffered from stagnation and political turmoil since he took after a 2009 coup. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10709 2013-01-16T02:44:00Z 2013-01-16T04:46:55Z Photo: Subterranean 'Moby Dick' mermaid lizard discovered in Madagascar An international team of scientists have described a bizarre new species of worm-like lizard that lives underground. Strangely, they named it the 'Moby Dick' mermaid skink. Rhett Butler -15.550283 47.671038 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10708 2013-01-16T02:21:00Z 2013-01-16T02:48:32Z Troops in Madagascar free miners held hostage by local protesters Troops in Madagascar last weekend freed nearly 200 employees of Rio Tinto who were trapped inside by a mine by local people protesting the project, reports <i>AFP</i>. Rhett Butler -24.954235 47.016285 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10644 2013-01-07T02:38:00Z 2013-01-07T03:03:39Z Picture gallery of the day: Day geckos Day geckos are the jewels of the gecko family. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10627 2012-12-31T22:31:00Z 2012-12-31T23:10:57Z The year in rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1802.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2012 was another year of mixed news for the world's tropical forests. This is a look at some of the most significant tropical rainforest-related news stories for 2012. There were many other important stories in 2012 and some were undoubtedly overlooked in this review. If you feel there's something we missed, please feel free to highlight it in the comments section. Also please note that this post focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10565 2012-12-12T20:44:00Z 2012-12-13T01:42:53Z Replacing lemur meat with insect protein in Madagascar Poaching is a major threat to endangered lemurs in some parts of Madagascar, but a group has come up with an innovative solution to the problem: replace lemur meat with silkworm pupae, a byproduct of silk production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10501 2012-12-03T18:29:00Z 2012-12-03T19:26:24Z Despite small brains, gray mouse lemurs use calls to avoid inbreeding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/madagascar_2465.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a small-brained and largely solitary primate, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) wasn't supposed to have the capacity to distinguish the calls of its kin calls from other lemurs. However, a new study in BMC Ecology, finds that a female gray mouse lemur is able to determine the mating calls of its father, allowing it avoid inbreeding. The discovery challenges the long-held belief that only large-brained, highly social animal are capable of determining kin from calls. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10487 2012-11-29T18:02:00Z 2012-11-29T18:14:26Z 'Exporting deforestation': China is the kingpin of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Logs-smuggled-across-the-land-border-from-Myanmar-into-Yunnan-province,-China,-April-2012-(c)-EIA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Runaway economic growth comes with costs: in the case of China's economic engine, one of them has been the world's forests. According to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), China has become the number one importer of illegal wood products from around the world. Illegal logging&#8212;which threatens biodiversity, emits carbon, impoverishes local communities, and is often coupled with other crimes&#8212;has come under heavy pressure in recent years from the U.S., the EU, and Australia. Each of these has implemented, or will soon implement, new laws that make importing and selling illegal wood products domestic crimes. However, China's unwillingness to tackle its vast appetite for illegal timber means the trade continues to decimate forests worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10382 2012-11-13T00:23:00Z 2012-11-13T00:35:33Z Greater bamboo lemur removed from 'most endangered primates' list Madagascar's greater bamboo lemur has been removed from the list of the world's 25 most endangered primates after conservationists discovered previously unknown populations of the rare creature, according to the Aspinall Foundation, a charity that set in motion a species survival plan for the lemur. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10315 2012-10-25T15:08:00Z 2012-10-25T15:29:27Z Picture of the day: a bizarre baby bird with oral 'fingerprints' The crested coua (Coua cristata) is native to island of Madagascar. Unlike much of Madagascar's wildlife, the crested coua is not considered threatened with extinction, but is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. There are around nine species of coua in the world, all found in Madagascar; the unique birds belong to the cuckoo family. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10314 2012-10-25T13:04:00Z 2012-10-29T13:29:13Z Smuggling of illegally logged rosewood in Madagascar continues, alleges report Timber traders in Madagascar are smuggling illegally logged rosewood despite an official export ban, alleges a new report published by a Malagasy researcher. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10271 2012-10-15T15:22:00Z 2012-10-15T15:38:23Z The world's 25 most endangered primates: nearly a quarter in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/animals/images/150/animals_00655.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition of conservation groups released the biannual Top 25 Primates list today, including nine species not appearing on the 2010 list, at the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India. Madagascar tops the list as home to the most threatened primates, including six on the list. Following Madagascar, Vietnam contains five, Indonesia three, and Brazil two. In all, over half (54 percent) of the world's primates, which have been evaluated, are considered threatened by the IUCN Red List. Jeremy Hance 17.389303 78.49926 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10189 2012-09-24T21:21:00Z 2012-09-24T21:41:11Z Coral diversity off Madagascar among the world's highest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/ci_59945131_cropped.CORAL.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The western Indian Ocean, especially the waters between Madagascar and mainland Africa, may be among the world's most biodiverse for coral species, according to a new study in PLOS ONE. Conducting dive surveys in the region for nearly a decade, David Obura with the Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) identified 369 coral species in the western Indian Ocean and predicts there may be nearly another 100 unidentified. If so, this would make the region as biodiverse as the Great Barrier Reef, but still behind the Coral Triangle which has over 600 species. Jeremy Hance -14.093957 43.410644 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10095 2012-09-05T18:59:00Z 2012-09-06T01:01:55Z Deforestation is killing Madagascar's coral reefs Sediment carried by rivers draining deforested areas in Madagascar is smothering local coral reefs, increasing the incidence of disease and suppressing growth, report new studies. Rhett Butler -15.494213 49.767624 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10028 2012-08-17T17:24:00Z 2012-08-20T16:40:27Z Madagascar gets biggest protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0817MAKIRA150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar officially designated its largest protected area in a region renowned for its tropical rainforests and rich diversity of wildlife, including 20 species of lemurs, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a group that was instrumental in establishing the park. Makira Natural Park covers some 372,470 hectares of forest in northeastern Madagascar, the most biodiverse part of the island nation. Rhett Butler -15.440443 49.354706 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9966 2012-08-06T20:43:00Z 2012-08-18T19:03:30Z Gibson Guitar to pay $300,000 for violating Lacey Act with illegal timber imports from Madagascar Gibson Guitar Company has avoided criminal prosecution under the Lacey Act &#8212; a law that aims to curb illegal logging abroad &#8212; by settling with the Department of Justice. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9893 2012-07-24T03:51:00Z 2012-08-18T19:03:40Z Past climate change reduced lemur population in Madagascar Climate change that took place 4,000-10,000 years ago may have contributed to the endangered status of one of Madagascar's rarest lemurs by reducing the extent of its habitat, argues a new study published in the journal <i>Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9879 2012-07-23T05:55:00Z 2012-08-18T19:03:55Z New Madagascar rainforest park invaded by sapphire miners One of Madagascar's newest national parks has been invaded by miners following the discovery of sapphires, reports AFP. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9847 2012-07-16T15:36:00Z 2012-08-18T19:04:08Z Cute animal picture of the day: baby bamboo lemur Greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus) are one of over a hundred lemur species found only on the island of Madagascar. Listed as Critically Endangered, there are only around 500 individuals known in the wild, making them one of the world's most imperiled primate species. A new baby was recently born in captivity in the UK's Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. Jeremy Hance 51.077052 0.999405 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9836 2012-07-13T16:52:00Z 2012-08-18T19:04:18Z 91% of Madagascar's lemurs threatened with extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_2316.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>94 of the world's 103 lemur species are at risk of extinction according to a new assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released by the group's Species Survival Commission during a workshop this week. Lemurs, a group of primates that is endemic to the island of Madagascar, are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching for the bushmeat trade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9769 2012-07-03T04:51:00Z 2012-08-18T19:04:32Z Cutting-edge research center opens in Madagascar rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/150cvb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A high-tech research center opened today on the edge of a rainforest in Madagascar. The facility, known as the Centre Valbio, will support efforts to study Madagascar's unique wildlife, deliver health care to impoverished communities, and understand links between the environment and the rural economy. The project was led by Patricia Wright, a Stony Brook University biologist whose 1986 discovery of the golden bamboo lemur led to the protection of a large swathe of rainforest known as Ranomafana. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9765 2012-07-02T17:59:00Z 2012-08-18T19:04:43Z Picture: baby black lemur born at Howletts Wild Animal Park Howletts Wild Animal Park in near Canterbury in Britain released photos of an infant black lemur born recently. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9598 2012-06-01T17:24:00Z 2012-08-18T19:04:57Z Photos: Mama lemurs with babies Two baby lemurs were put on display this week in the Madagascar! exhibit at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9532 2012-05-18T00:16:00Z 2012-08-18T19:03:04Z Picture: Shaq poses with tiny lemur <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0518shaq-lemur150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most recognizable professional basketball players has used his stature to highlight one of the world's smallest primates: the mouse lemur from Madagascar. Shaquille O’Neal, a NBA legend who retired last year and earned a doctorate degree in education from Barry University earlier this year, posed with a mouse lemur at Zoo Miami in March. The diminutive primate, which measures only five inches and weighs two ounces, was dwarfed by the 7’1” 325-pound Shaq. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9418 2012-04-19T18:05:00Z 2012-04-19T18:26:20Z Mad frog bonanza: up to 36 new frogs discovered in tiny Madagascar forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Platypelis-sp.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A forest less than half the size of Manhattan sports an astounding number of frogs, according to a new paper in <i>Biodiversity Conservation</i>. Two surveys of Madagascar's Betampona Nature Reserve, which covers 2,228 hectares, has uncovered 76 unique frogs, 36 of which may be new to science. To put this in perspective: the U.S. and Canada combined contain just 88 frog species, but cover an area nearly a million times larger than Betampona. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9372 2012-04-06T17:58:00Z 2012-04-06T18:12:10Z Baby boom: 18 of the world's rarest duck born The global population of one of the world's rarest birds just increased 43 percent. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is reporting that 18 Madagascar pochards &#8212; the world's rarest duck &#8212; hatched and are now being reared at a facility in Madagascar. The breeding program is a joint effort between Durrell, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the Peregrine Fund, Asity Madagascar and the Government of Madagascar. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9299 2012-03-22T17:10:00Z 2012-03-22T17:36:37Z Madagascar originally colonized by small group of Indonesians Madagascar was first colonized by a small group of Indonesians who crossed the Indian Ocean some 1,200 years ago, reports a new study published in the journal <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9239 2012-03-11T00:05:00Z 2012-03-11T00:15:41Z Appeal for help as death toll in Madagascar tops 110 from tropical storm More than 110 are dead and 330,000 homeless after two tropical storms battered Madagascar over the past month, says the island nation's disaster management agency. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9196 2012-03-01T01:26:00Z 2012-03-01T01:29:37Z Madagascar lifts rosewood ban. Or does it? Madagascar's transitional government lifted its ban on exports of rosewood, ebony and other precious wood last month, but the decision is now under review due to concerns about foreign dominance of the trade, say local sources. Environmentalists are nonetheless concerned that a loosening of restrictions on old-growth timber could ignite another logging frenzy in the country's rainforest parks, which are renowned for their biodiversity. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9191 2012-02-28T16:45:00Z 2012-02-28T16:52:27Z Cute baby animal photos of the day: twin Malagasy giant jumping rats born at London Zoo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Malagasy-Giant-Jumping-Rat---Baby---ZSL.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Twin Malagasy giant jumping rats (Hypogeomys antimena) were born in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) zoo in London this month. Found only on the island of Madagascar, also home to the world's lemurs, these rodents are the biggest on the island. These large rodents take the ecological place of rabbits in Madagascar, but unlike other rodents they form lifelong monogamous pairs and reproduce very slowly. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9183 2012-02-27T15:48:00Z 2012-02-27T16:01:29Z Scientists recommend marine protected areas for Madagascar With the government of Madagascar planning to increase marine protected areas by one million hectares, a group of researchers have laid out flexible recommendations in a new study in the open access journal PLoS ONE. The researchers employed four different analyses in order to highlight a number of different conservation options, however the different analyses pointed to the need to protect certain areas with high biodiversity, including the Barren Islands' reefs, the reefs of Juan de Nova, the Banc de Leven, and the shallow banks of the Cap Sainte Marie. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9131 2012-02-20T19:55:00Z 2012-02-20T20:16:55Z Madagascar - The Last Inheritor of Gondwana: Documentary Review Madagascar split from the supercontinent of Gondwana about 150 million years ago. As a result, most of the living creatures in Madagascar are unique to the ecosystems in the island. Madagascar: The Last Inheritor of Gondwana is a documentary that does an excellent job of showing Madagascar’s magnificent biodiversity, but falls short in delivering Madagascar’s "clear" and "urgent" message. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9127 2012-02-20T14:45:00Z 2012-02-22T14:44:13Z Innovative conservation: wild silk, endangered species, and poverty in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/sepali.target-mosth-Antherina-suraka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For anyone who works in conservation in Madagascar, confronting the complex difficulties of widespread poverty is a part of the job. But with the wealth of Madagascar's wildlife rapidly diminishing&#8212; such as lemurs, miniature chameleons, and hedgehog-looking tenrecs found no-where else in the world&#8212;the island-nation has become a testing ground for innovative conservation programs that focus on tackling entrenched poverty to save dwindling species and degraded places. The local NGO, the Madagascar Organization of Silk Workers or SEPALI, along with its U.S. partner Conservation through Poverty Alleviation (CPALI), is one such innovative program. In order to alleviate local pressure on the newly-established Makira Protected Area, SEPALI is aiding local farmers in artisanal silk production from endemic moths. The program uses Madagascar's famed wildlife to help create more economically stable communities. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9115 2012-02-15T15:48:00Z 2012-02-15T17:31:57Z Photo: World's smallest chameleon discovered in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bmicra.match.journal.pone.0031314.g008.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered four new species of super-tiny chameleons in Madagascar, according to a new paper in PLoS ONE. The smallest of the new species, Brookesia micra, is found only on the small island of Nosy Hara and has been dubbed the smallest chameleon in the world, measuring from nose to tail 29 millimeters (1.14 inches) at its largest. Scientists believe it represents a notable example of island dwarfism. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9114 2012-02-15T03:50:00Z 2012-02-26T06:04:43Z Scientists create high resolution, 3D maps of forests in Madagascar A team of scientists has created the first high resolution maps of remote forests in Madagascar. The effort, which is written up in the journal <i>Carbon Balance and Management</i>, will help more accurately register the amount of carbon stored in Madagascar's forests, potentially giving the impoverished country access to carbon-based finance under the proposed REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) program. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9056 2012-02-03T23:42:00Z 2012-02-04T00:27:10Z Caution urged in sale of Madagascar's illegal timber stockpiles Confiscated timber stocks in Madagascar must be managed in a "transparent manner" to deter future illegal logging and boosting demand for endangered rainforest timber, says a letter published by a coalition of NGOs. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9047 2012-02-02T23:21:00Z 2012-02-02T23:38:36Z Photos of the day: a celebration of wetlands (for World Wetlands Day) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0060.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forget the groundhogs, February 2nd is also World Wetland Day, commemorating the historic convention of wetlands in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. The Ramsar Treaty was an international agreement meant to address the loss and degradation of wetlands worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9003 2012-01-25T21:05:00Z 2012-01-25T22:06:43Z Frog perfume? Madagascar frogs communicate via airborne pheromones Researchers have found that some frogs in Madagascar communicate by more than just sound and sight: they create distinct airborne pheromones, which are secreted chemicals used for communicating with others. A paper published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition relates that some male members of the Mantellinae family in Madagascar use large glands on their inner thighs to produce airborne pheromones. Interestingly, the pheromones are structurally similar to those produced by insects. Scientists have identified frogs producing water-borne pheromones before, but this is the first instance of airborne. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8988 2012-01-22T20:35:00Z 2012-01-22T20:36:18Z Featured video: music in Madagascar to protest illegal logging A new video highlights the plight of Madagascar's protected tropical forests, which are falling prey to illegal logging and foreign contractors. Featuring Razia Said, Malagasy singer and songwriter, the video shows concerts to raise awareness about illegal logging, especially near Maosala National Park. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8983 2012-01-19T20:51:00Z 2012-01-19T22:03:57Z National Association of Music Merchants does 'disservice' to members by misleading them on illegal logging law, says letter <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0119madagascar_3998_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The National Association of Music Merchants is doing a 'disservice' to its members by misrepresenting the provisions and spirit of the Lacey Act, a law that aims to curb illegal logging abroad, states a letter published by a coalition of environmental groups. The letter, issued Thursday, urges the National Association of Music Merchants to reconsider its support for the RELIEF Act (HR 3210), introduced by Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), and Jim Cooper (D-TN) last October. The RELIEF Act would weaken key provisions of the Lacey Act aimed to ensure that illegally sourced wood products aren't imported into the United States. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8927 2012-01-09T15:08:00Z 2012-01-23T21:16:59Z How lemurs fight climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Searching-for-elusive-lemurs,-SE-Madagascar.-Photo-by-Daniel-Austin.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kara Moses may have never become a biologist if not for a coin toss. The coin, which came up heads and decided Moses' direction in college, has led her on a sinuous path from studying lemurs in captivity to environmental writing, and back to lemurs, only this time tracking them in their natural habitat. Her recent research on ruffed lemurs is attracting attention for documenting the seed dispersal capabilities of Critically Endangered ruffed lemurs as well as theorizing connections between Madagascar's lemurs and the carbon storage capacity of its forests. Focusing on the black-and-white ruffed lemur's (Varecia variegata) ecological role as a seed disperser&#8212;animals that play a major role in spreading a plant's seeds far-and-wide&#8212;Moses suggests that not only do the lemurs disperse key tree species, but they could be instrumental in dispersing big species that store large amounts of carbon. Jeremy Hance