Ecotourism is a wonderful way to experience new places and volunteering to be part of a conservation program in Madagascar is particularly rewarding, especially with sightings of wildlife that occurs nowhere else in the world.
Nature tourism is growing in popularity and it’s easy to understand why, when visiting our research centre on Nosy Komba. Recently, our forest conservation team came across this baby Andoany Stump-toed Frog (Stumpffia Pymaea) – one of the world’s smallest frogs and one of the world’s smallest vertebrates.
The frog is endemic to Madagascar, and more specifically, Nosy Be and Nosy Komba, where its natural habitat is tropical or subtropical plantations, secondary rainforest and dense vegetation along the roads. It is fairly adaptable but needs some shade and leaf litter, breeding in foam nests on the ground with non-feeding tadpoles in the nest.
Unfortunately, its main threat is habitat loss. The high human population density in Madagascar and urbanisation on both Nosy Be and Nosy Komba contribute to the reduction of its habitat. Factors such as expanding sugar cane cultivation that results in the loss of humid leaf litter, is very detrimental to the species. Other potential threats include fire and pollution from agricultural pesticides.
Given the frog’s very limited range, there is a definite need for close population monitoring. Join one of our forest conservation volunteer program and become a part of the solution.