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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

Conservation of endemic species of madagascar

  • Facts of Madagascar diversity

  • Endemic species, what they are, importance to Madagascar?

  • Will be giving examples of these species from few animal classes

Class mammalia
Class Mammalia

Class reptilia
Class Reptilia

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 control region sequences.

Young and Rhymer, 1998

Conclusion control region sequences.

  • 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)

Conclusion control region sequences.

Young and Rhymer, 1998

Issues habitat concerns
Issues/Habitat concerns control region sequences.

  • 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 control region sequences.

  • 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

Status control region sequences.

  • “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 control region sequences. & Biodiversity

  • Using phylogenetic relationship data to identify separately evolving lineages.

    • Important for identifying which species are in need of protection.

References control region sequences.

References karens
References ( control region sequences.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

Questions? control region sequences.