​30 YEARS OF MADAGASCAR​: CONSERVING AMPHIBIANS OF THE GREAT ISLAND

This year, 2018, it is just 30 years that I come in Madagascar. This is for studying and protecting amphibians and reptiles. The first year I came was just for holidays. It was really funny and interesting to devote myself to the study of a really peculiar herpetofauna! I came from Europe, where I was just studying newts, and Madagascar, with its plethora of frogs, treefrogs, lizards and snakes was a conspicuous heaven. At the same time, conservation problems were already known. Maybe not too "famous" for herps, but more or less on the same lines as those of lemurs and forests. My first visit was at Nosy Mangabe (see photo here attached: happy and with some more hair than now!). After that herp-holiday I repeated my travels to Madagascar so many times that I do not know the exact number of visits. I must say that this country has become my elected nation after Italy. Extraordinarily beautiful but suffering. Forests are disappearing at a very quick rate, people is even poorer and in much worst conditions than in the Eighties. During this period it has been so beautiful to discover many new species of frogs, lizards and snakes in company of colleagues and friends. But even more interesting and – I hope – useful, having acted for the conservation of Malagasy amphibians. With the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group we made and carried out several projects and formed young Malagasy herpetologists.

Franco Andreone


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