To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter reflects on the methodological problems within a collaborative research project involving anthropology and developmental psychology. The project studied relations between child-rearing goals, emotionally arousing child-rearing practices, and the socialization and ontogenetic development of emotions in three different contexts (Indonesia, Madagascar, and Taiwan). I first discuss which demands were linked with the theoretical perspectives and methodological standards of the two disciplines. I then reflect on the problems encountered when trying to apply the same methods in all three contexts. One of the challenges for this interdisciplinary project was the differing kinds of empirical data gathered because of the need to adapt methods to local conditions. We needed a productive way to work between the methodological priorities of each discipline. Therefore, I designed a methodology that acknowledges the unique methodological advantages of anthropology – long-term field research, participant observation, using an explorative approach – while simultaneously making it possible to achieve theoretical and methodological equivalence in controlled cross-cultural comparisons.
Despite their legal protection status, protected areas (PAs) can benefit from priority ranks when ongoing threats to their biodiversity and habitats outpace the financial resources available for their conservation. It is essential to develop methods to prioritize PAs that are not computationally demanding in order to suit stakeholders in developing countries where technical and financial resources are limited. We used expert knowledge-derived biodiversity measures to generate individual and aggregate priority ranks of 98 mostly terrestrial PAs on Madagascar. The five variables used were state of knowledge (SoK), forest loss, forest loss acceleration, PA size and relative species diversity, estimated by using standardized residuals from negative binomial models of SoK regressed onto species diversity. We compared our aggregate ranks generated using unweighted averages and principal component analysis (PCA) applied to each individual variable with those generated via Markov chain (MC) and PageRank algorithms. SoK significantly affected the measure of species diversity and highlighted areas where more research effort was needed. The unweighted- and PCA-derived ranks were strongly correlated, as were the MC and PageRank ranks. However, the former two were weakly correlated with the latter two. We recommend using these methods simultaneously in order to provide decision-makers with the flexibility to prioritize those PAs in need of additional research and conservation efforts.
The role of the elites in Madagascar's trajectory, especially in the formation and widening of inequalities as a known source of chronic socio-political instability, calls for a closer study of the elite group. This chapter establishes a sociography of the elites based on statistical surveys, including a unique representative survey focusing on the Red Island's elites. It provides insights into their strategies to attain and remain in power, but also their opinions on the running of society and especially their views of the obstacles to and the drivers of the country's long-term development. The majority of elites are from the old aristocracy. Social capital made up of a rich network in terms of its size, diversity and the intensity of the connections established within the elite circle and straddling is used as a strategy to access the highest hierarchical positions. This dominant class displays rather mixed attitudes to democratic principles. The main point of disagreement between elites and the rest of the population concerns the order of priorities on the political agenda. Although maintaining order counts the most for the elites, the rest of the population prioritises improved living conditions for the poor.
The Vulnerable fosa Cryptoprocta ferox is the largest native carnivore in Madagascar, fulfilling a unique ecological niche in the island's remaining forests. Negative interactions with humans threaten the long-term viability of most remaining fosa populations across Madagascar. Threats to the fosa include habitat loss and persecution by humans resulting from perceived predation on domestic animals. We used GPS collars to record space use and activity patterns of five fosas in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, during the dry seasons of 2016 and 2017. The results, with up to 2,110 recorded locations per individual, indicated fosas’ home ranges and movements were not limited to the forest, and all collared individuals used networks of habitat patches and corridors to navigate deforested areas. The fosas studied in Ankarafantsika National Park had significantly larger home ranges than those reported in previous studies in other protected areas. They were rarely found within village boundaries and appeared to avoid areas of human habitation, suggesting that during the study period livestock was not a significant component of the fosas’ diet in this Park. Our results suggest that fosas have some flexibility that enables them to adapt to living near deforested and human-dominated areas by altering their space-use patterns, but they are compensating by increasing their home range size.
Many species are poorly known, with the sum of our knowledge represented by specimens in museums. For assessment of conservation status the most enigmatic and challenging species are probably those known only from a single specimen. We examine the potential persistence of such species using the orchid flora of Madagascar as a case study. We apply a statistical method that tests the likelihood of species presence in relation to the time when a species was collected and a measure of annual collection effort, calculated in three ways based on specimen collection over time. The results suggest that as of 2000 up to nine of the 236 orchid species known from a single specimen may be inferred to be extinct under at least one of the three methods of estimating collection effort and extinction. In addition, up to two additional species are likely to be extinct by 2018 assuming no new collections were made by that time. Substantial collection effort and/or additional evidence will be needed to reach a decision on the persistence of more recently observed species known only from a single collection. This represents a challenge for conservation practitioners.
In developing countries, estimates of the prevalence and diversity of Leptospira infections in livestock, an important but neglected zoonotic pathogen and cause of livestock productivity loss, are lacking. In Madagascar, abattoir sampling of cattle and pigs demonstrated a prevalence of infection of 20% in cattle and 5% in pigs by real-time PCR. In cattle, amplification and sequencing of the Leptospira-specific lfb1 gene revealed novel genotypes, mixed infections of two or more Leptospira species and evidence for potential transmission between small mammals and cattle. Sequencing of the secY gene demonstrated genetic similarities between Leptospira detected in Madagascar and, as yet, uncultured Leptospira strains identified in Tanzania, Reunion and Brazil. Detection of Leptospira DNA in the same animal was more likely in urine samples or pooled samples from four kidney lobes relative to samples collected from a single kidney lobe, suggesting an effect of sampling method on detection. In pigs, no molecular typing of positive samples was possible. Further research into the epidemiology of livestock leptospirosis in developing countries is needed to inform efforts to reduce human infections and to improve livestock productivity.
This article tracks the historical processes that shaped human waste management practices in Majunga, Madagascar from the city's founding in the mid-eighteenth century to contemporary times. Moving beyond colonial urban histories of sanitation, this article charts the meanings, strategies, and work practices Majunga residents employed to deal with predicaments of waste in everyday life. I argue that the particular material configuration of the colonial sanitation infrastructure in Majunga required new forms of labor — especially maintenance work — which city dwellers evaluated through existing moral norms. With the construction of French colonial sanitation infrastructures and the new labor regimes they necessitated, waste management became a key vector through which notions of difference were negotiated over the early- to mid-twentieth century. Shifting emphasis away from colonial infrastructure as disparity and onto moments of reception can contribute fresh insights not only on the histories of African cities, but also to histories of technology in the Global South.
The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of deposits at the Lakaton'i Anja rockshelter site in Madagascar extends the chronology of human activity on the island back to 4500 BP. These results have roused archaeological and palaeoecological interest in the implications of mid Holocene human colonisation of remote islands in the Indian Ocean. There is, however, evidence of extensive bioturbation at the site, reflected in over-dispersion and other characteristics of the OSL data. It is argued here that OSL ages on minor sedimentary components indicate a much younger chronology consistent with radiocarbon dates for human activity no earlier than the first millennium AD.
Decision-makers need readily accessible tools to understand the potential impacts of alternative policies on forest cover and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to develop effective policies to meet national and international targets for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and climate change mitigation. Land change modelling can support policy decisions by demonstrating potential impacts of policies on future deforestation and GHG emissions. We modelled land change to explore the potential impacts of expert-informed scenarios on deforestation and GHG emissions, specifically CO2 emissions, in the Ankeniheny–Zahamena Corridor in eastern Madagascar. We considered four scenarios: business as usual; effective conservation of protected areas; investment in infrastructure; and agricultural intensification. Our results highlight that effective forest conservation could deliver substantial emissions reductions, while infrastructure development will likely cause forest loss in new areas. Agricultural intensification could prevent additional forest loss if it reduced the need to clear more land while improving food security. Our study demonstrates how available land change modelling tools and scenario analyses can inform land-use policies, helping countries reconcile economic development with forest conservation and climate change mitigation commitments.
Habitat fragmentation creates habitat edges, and ecological edge effects can cause major changes in the ecology and distribution of many taxa. However, these ecological changes may in turn influence animal movements and lead to molecular edge effects and edge-related genetic structure, matters that are largely unexplored. This study aims to infer molecular edge effects and to test three possible underlying mechanisms in the Endangered golden-brown mouse lemur Microcebus ravelobensis, a nocturnal species in the dry deciduous forest of the Ankarafantsika National Park in north-western Madagascar. Mouse lemurs were sampled in one edge and two interior habitats in close proximity to each other (500–1,400 m) in a continuous forest. A total of 41 mouse lemur samples were genotyped with seven nuclear microsatellites, and a fragment of the mitochondrial control region was sequenced for all samples. The overall genetic diversity (allelic richness, heterozygosity, haplotype richness, nucleotide diversity) was lower in the edge habitat compared to the two interior sites and all subpopulations showed signals of relatively low genetic exchange and significant genetic differentiation between them despite the short geographical distances, supporting the local preference model. These findings can be interpreted as preliminary signals of a molecular edge effect and suggest the potential for local adaptation. They are highly relevant for the conservation of fragmented populations, because a further subdivision of already small populations may increase their vulnerability to stochastic demographic changes and collapse.
Despite conservation discourses in Madagascar increasingly emphasizing the role of customary institutions for wildlife management, we know relatively little about their effectiveness. Here, we used semi-structured interviews with 54 adults in eight villages to investigate whether sacred caves and taboos offer conservation benefits for cave-dwelling bats in and around Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, south-west Madagascar. Although some caves were described as sites of spiritual significance for the local communities, most interviewees (c. 76%) did not recognize their present-day sacred status. Similarly, only 22% of the interviewees recognized taboos inhibiting bat hunting and consumption. Legal protection of bats and caves through protected areas was often more widely acknowledged than customary regulations, although up to 30% of the interviewees reported consumption of bats within their communities. Guano extraction was often tolerated in sacred caves in exchange for economic compensation. This may benefit bat conservation by creating incentives for bat protection, although extraction is often performed through destructive and exploitative practices with little benefit for local communities. In view of these results our study questions the extent to which sacred sites, taboos and protected areas offer protection for bats in Madagascar. These results support previous studies documenting the erosion of customary institutions in Madagascar, including the loss of the spiritual values underpinning sacred sites. Given that many Malagasy bats are cave-dwelling species and that most depend on the customary protection of these sites, it is important to obtain a better understanding of the complex interactions between spiritual practices, taboos and protected areas in sustaining bat diversity.
Madagascar is one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots, and protection of its biodiversity is becoming increasingly urgent as deforestation of the island continues. For the long-term success of conservation efforts it is essential that key ecological processes, such as seed dispersal, are protected and restored. Therefore, the identification of ecological gaps is a vital task. For Madagascar, only little is known about plant–animal interactions, and traditional methods of ecological research are too time-consuming to provide crucial information about breakdowns in these interactions. To identify likely dispersal gaps we therefore used a theoretical approach to analyse plant–disperser interactions in Madagascar. We used data science tools to impute missing data on relevant plant traits to subsequently predict the most likely dispersal agents for each of Madagascar's endemic plant species. We found that 38% of the endemic species (N = 8,784) are endozoochorous, and among these 26–41% display a primate syndrome and 17–19% a bird syndrome (depending on the definition of syndromes). This lower percentage of endozoochorous species and higher percentage of species with a primate syndrome in Madagascar compared to other tropical areas reflects the unusual disperser guild on the island. Only five bird species but 20 lemur species are frugivorous, and 16 of those lemur species are currently threatened with extinction. The disappearance of frugivorous lemurs would significantly change the vegetation dynamics of Madagascar's ecosystems, and a high proportion of Madagascar's endemic plants would enter an extinction vortex.
Extinction is the complete loss of a species, but the accuracy of that status depends on the overall information about the species. Dracaena umbraculifera was described in 1797 from a cultivated plant attributed to Mauritius, but repeated surveys failed to relocate it and it was categorized as Extinct on the IUCN Red List. However, several individuals labelled as D. umbraculifera grow in botanical gardens, suggesting that the species’ IUCN status may be inaccurate. The goal of this study was to understand (1) where D. umbraculifera originated, (2) which species are its close relatives, (3) whether it is extinct, and (4) the identity of the botanical garden accessions and whether they have conservation value. We sequenced a cpDNA region of Dracaena from Mauritius, botanical garden accessions labelled as D. umbraculifera, and individuals confirmed to be D. umbraculifera based on morphology, one of which is a living plant in a private garden. We included GenBank accessions of Dracaena from Madagascar and other locations and reconstructed the phylogeny using Bayesian and parsimony approaches. Phylogenies indicated that D. umbraculifera is more closely related to Dracaena reflexa from Madagascar than to Mauritian Dracaena. As anecdotal information indicated that the living D. umbraculifera originated from Madagascar, we conducted field expeditions there and located five wild populations; the species’ IUCN status should therefore be Critically Endangered because < 50 wild individuals remain. Although the identity of many botanical garden samples remains unresolved, this study highlights the importance of living collections for facilitating new discoveries and the importance of documenting and conserving the flora of Madagascar.
Although roads are often assumed to be barriers to the dispersal of arboreal species, there has been little empirical testing of this assumption. If arboreal animals are unable to cross roads, population subdivision may occur, or resources may become inaccessible. We tested the hypothesis that Route Nationale 4 (RN4), a paved highway, was a barrier to movement and dispersal of the Endangered golden-brown mouse lemur Microcebus ravelobensis in Ankarafantsika National Park, in north-west Madagascar. During June–August 2015 we conducted a capture–mark–recapture study at three sites: two adjacent to RN4 and one within intact forest without a potential barrier. During 2,294 trap nights we captured 120 golden-brown mouse lemurs 1,032 times. In roadside habitats we captured significantly more males than females, whereas the opposite was the case in interior forest habitat. We detected eighteen crossings of highway transects by nine individuals; however, all potential dispersal events involved males. In roadside habitat, movement was significantly inhibited in both males and females. We present some of the first data on the effects of roads on movement patterns in arboreal Malagasy mammals, showing species- and sex-biased effects of roads as dispersal barriers. Our findings indicate that roads may not be complete barriers to dispersal in lemurs. We recommend that conservation managers and scientists examine explicitly the effects of roads and natural arboreal bridges in Madagascar in future studies.
Hunting of wildlife is one of the major threats to biodiversity. For effective conservation programmes in countries where hunting and shifting agriculture are the main sources of subsistence, forest management should aim to reduce hunting pressure and forest exploitation. The presence of researchers has been promoted as one of the main ways to mitigate anthropogenic pressures on wildlife populations. Our aim was to test whether local management and the establishment of a research station had a role in decreasing forest exploitation by local people living adjacent to a recently protected area in south-east Madagascar. We interviewed local people from nine villages at various distances from the recently established research station of Ampasy, in the northernmost portion of the Tsitongambarika Protected Area, to explore how people use the forest, with a particular focus on hunting. We also performed transect surveys to estimate snare and lemur encounter rates before local forest management began, at the establishment of the research station, and 1 year after. The impact of local communities on the forest seems to have decreased since the beginning of forest management, with a further decrease since the establishment of the research station. Participants from villages not involved in the local management were more reluctant to declare their illegal activities. We conclude that a combination of local management and related activities (e.g. installation of a research station) can assist in temporarily reducing forest exploitation by local communities; however, community needs and conservation plans should be integrated to maintain long-term benefits.
The trade of live parrots is a threat to wild populations but is understudied. Madagascar is home to three parrot species listed on CITES Appendix II: Coracopsis nigra, Coracopsis vasa and Agapornis canus. Prior to this study there were no data on the ownership of parrots in Madagascar. We therefore aimed to investigate the extent of the domestic pet trade in this group. Our objectives were to quantify the prevalence, spatial extent, and timing of ownership. We collected data in July and August 2016 in nine urban towns across Madagascar, using semi-structured household surveys (n = 440). We found that the ownership of pet parrots is widespread in time and space; 37% (95% CI 26–48%) of interviewees had seen, and 8% (95% CI 3–13%) had owned, a Coracopsis sp. Fewer interviewees (4.5% of all interviewees) had seen A. canus in captivity, and only one individual reported having previously owned an A. canus. We estimate that 1,290 Coracopsis spp. individuals were held in captivity in the towns surveyed, in the 1.5 years prior to our interviews. It is likely that much of this ownership is illegal, although we did not examine this explicitly. Additional research is needed to determine whether current extraction rates are sustainable. This study adds to a growing body of evidence that the domestic regulation of the trade of wild species is not being addressed adequately in Madagascar.