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Conservation of Endemic Species of Madagascar. A presentation by: Kaitlin Zwicker Jessica Fredericks and Karen Ssebazza. Where is Madagascar?. Located in the Indian Ocean Approx. 430 km Southeast off the coast of Mozambique World’s 4 th largest Island Approx: 592,800 km sq

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conservation of endemic species of madagascar

Conservation of Endemic Species of Madagascar

A presentation by:

Kaitlin Zwicker

Jessica Fredericks and

Karen Ssebazza

where is madagascar
Where is Madagascar?
  • Located in the Indian Ocean
  • Approx. 430 km Southeast off the coast of Mozambique
  • World’s 4th largest Island
    • Approx: 592,800 km sq
  • Population: 20,653,556 (2009 census)
  • Consists of a variety of Ecosystems
ecosystems of madagascar
Ecosystems of Madagascar

Montane Rainforest

Lowland Rainforest

  • Tropical Moist Forests
    • Coastal Rainforests
    • Lowland Rainforests
    • Montane Rainforests
    • High Elevation Scrub
  • Southern and Eastern Dry Forests
    • Dry Deciduous Forests
    • Spiny Forests
  • Wetlands
    • Lakes, Marshes and Swamps
    • Mangrove Forests
  • Secondary Man-Made Communities

Spiny Forest

Spiny Forest



“Evolution In The News”, Berkley University

biodiversity hotspots
“Biodiversity Hotspots”
  • Norman Meyers (1988) proposed 10 tropical forests as “Hotspots”
  • “Hotspot” characterized as:
    • Having exceptional levels of plant endemism
    • Having serious levels of habitat destruction
  • “Endemic Species”:
    • Species found no where else in the world.
biodiversity hotspots1
“Biodiversity Hotspots”
  • In 1989 Conservation International adopted Meyers’ list as an institutional blueprint
  • In 1996 a quantitative threshold was introduced to designate “Biodiversity Hotspots”
    • To qualify as a hotspot a region must meet two criteria
      • Must contain at least 1,500 species of endemic vascular plants
      • Has to have lost at least 70 percent of its original habitat
madagascar as a biodiversity hotspot
Madagascar as a Biodiversity Hotspot
  • A good example of species evolution in isolation.
  • Is in close proximity with Africa but does not share any of the typical animal groups.
  • Has high levels of genus- and family-level endemism

Facts of Madagascar diversity

  • Endemic species, what they are, importance to Madagascar?
  • Will be giving examples of these species from few animal classes
anas melleri
  • Meller’s Duck
    • Named in 1864 after founder Christopher Meller.
  • Belongs to mallard group
    • One in several to be non-migratory, monochromatic, similar drab plumage to female mallard

Photo taken from Mangroverde World Bird Guide Species Page

Photo taken by Alan D Wilson,

anas melleri1
  • Has green speculum feathers.
    • Similar to other non-dimorphic mallard species
    • Bordered by white
      • Like in the common mallard.
  • Does not have supercilium
    • Characteristic of majority of mallard species in the group.

Photos taken from Cologne Zoo, Germany

ecology habitat
Ecology: Habitat
  • Eastern slope of the central plateau.
    • Sea level to 2000m
  • Inhabit freshwater wetlands.
    • Majority of birds recorded are centered around Lac Alaotra.

Photo taken from BirdLife International (2010)



  • Made of vegetation (ie: dry grass leaves, etc)
  • Built near waters edge or among herbaceous vegetation.


  • Forage on land or by dabbling
  • Aquatic plants, seeds, molluscs, rice
ecology behaviour
Ecology: Behaviour
  • Non- migratory
  • Nesting period from Sept- April
    • Dependent upon levels of rainfall.
  • Highly territorial and aggressive
    • Pairs can defend area up to 2km in length.

Photo taken from BirdLife International (2010)

evolutionary history
Compared molecular genetic relationships; used mitochondrial control region sequences.

DNA isolated from each sample; 2 variable domains were amplified, sequenced and aligned.

Evolutionary History

(Common mallard: Holoarctic)

(Common mallard: N.A)

(Meller’s Duck)

(African yellow-billed duck)

(African black duck)

(Common Teal)

Young and Rhymer, 1998

evolutionary history1
Evolutionary History

Young and Rhymer, 1998

  • Meller’s duck and African yellow-billed
    • Diverged approx. 0.9Mya from common mallards.
    • Diverged from each other 1.0Mya.
    • Both diverged from African black duck 1.8-2.0Mya
    • Along with the common mallard evolved from the nondimorphic African black duck

(Young and Rhymer, 1998)


Young and Rhymer, 1998

issues habitat concerns
Issues/Habitat concerns
  • Wetlands are being threatened
    • Habitat modification, deforestation, drainage, pollution (human impacts)
    • Introduction of exotic plants and animals.
  • Hunting
    • For food and for sport.
      • About 18% of global population hunted each year
conservation efforts
Conservation Efforts
  • Change its national status to protected species.
  • Protect the area around Lac Alaotra which is its primary habitat.
  • Study more in depth ecology
    • Preventative measures of their decline
  • “IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species” as Endangered.
  • Currently 2,000-5,000 remain
  • Population trend shows they are decreasing.
  • Range estimate (breeding/resident): 211,000 km2
systematics biodiversity
Systematics & Biodiversity
  • Using phylogenetic relationship data to identify separately evolving lineages.
    • Important for identifying which species are in need of protection.
references karens
References (Karens)
  • Young, H. Glyn, and Judith M. Rhymer. "Meller\'s duck: A threatened species receives recognition at last." Chapman and Hall. 7. (1998): 1313-1323.
  • BirdLife International 2008. Anasmelleri. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <>. Downloaded on 19 March 2010
  • BirdLife International (2009) Species factsheet: Anasmelleri. Downloaded from on 21/3/2010