Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Amphibian Captive Breeding Center Opens in Madagascar

More than 99 percent of Madagascar’s amphibians are found nowhere else on Earth. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), one-quarter of these species are classified as threatened with extinction.

The Mitsinjo amphibian captive breeding facility in Andasibe, Madagascar (© CI/Photo by Nirhy Rabibisoa)

Now there is a critical resource to help the frogs fight back: a new amphibian captive breeding center. Implemented by Malagasy authorities, IUCN’s AmpGroup hibian Specialist and the Mitsinjo Association  and with support from CI and other NGOs, the Mitsinjo captive breeding facility was constructed to face the growing threat of the chytrid fungus that has decimated amphibian populations worldwide.

Though chytrid has not yet been detected in Madagascar, seven of the country’s amphibian species are already designated as Critically Endangered, and therefore are at high risk of extinction if disease outbreaks should occur. The amphibian center aim to establish captive populations of the most threatened species as a reserve in case the fungus reaches the island.

Amphibians services to humans are many, such as controlling insect vectorsof  diseases and those damage crops, and help maintain healthy freshwater systems. In 2008, CI-Madagascar organized the development of the Sahonagasy Action Plan (SAP), a national plan for amphibian conservation. This plan emphasized the emerging threat posed by the chytrid fungus and the need to develop the capacity within Madagascar to detect and monitor the disease, and to develop in-country breeding facilities for disease-free frog populations.

Captive breeding of amphibian species will also help to combat the combined action of habitat destruction, illegal and unsustainable collection for the international pet trade, and the impacts of climate change. (Source: Conservation International )
New Amphibian Captive Breeding Center Opens in Madagascar Conservation International Blog

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