project news

Ssssignificant Discovery

News item submitted by Frontier
News item dated 3 Dec 2009

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The Madagascar Forest teams’ reptile surveys have paid off, yielding some amazing discoveries, including three individuals of the Madagascar burrowing snake, Pararhadinaea melanogaster. Not only is it the first time this species has been found outside a rainforest habitat, but the team also found the longest specimen ever observed! Up till now, only three individuals of this species have ever been recorded! Therefore the efforts of the Frontier Madagascar team have doubled the number of known specimens for this species. 

Furthermore, the team also discovered another little known snake species, Liopholidophis dimorpha. The pitfall traps yielded two juveniles, of which, only two individuals have been previously recorded. This means that, yet again, the Frontier Madagascar team has doubled the number of known specimens for this species and recorded the only known juveniles.

In addition to these exciting discoveries, the team has also been gathering baseline data on lots of other species present at the research site, including skinks, geckos, chameleons and lemurs. Information collected on the different species present in this forest fragment, should provide some insights into the use of the area as a wildlife corridor between highly diverse national parks. It will also contribute to improving our general knowledge of species migrations and movements within fragmented landscapes. The Frontier Madagascar team is therefore hoping to highlight the importance of secondary forest fragments in maintaining regional biological diversity and their role as wildlife corridors.