New study finds that frogs in captivity retain much of pathogen-fighting microbial community

More than a decade after the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore was approved to establish a captive population of adult Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki) to get them out of the path of the deadly fungal disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), only ghosts of the black-spotted yellow beauties now haunt the riverbanks of western Panama. But while captivity has [...]

The Last Week Has Been Filled With Rewarding Sampling Excursions And Crazy Taxi Brousse Adventures!

Into the Canyons After attending the productive ACSAM2 meeting at Valbio in Ranomafana it was great to get back into the field. Keeping a bunch of herpetologists and conservationists cooped up in a room for three days makes them thirsty for the outdoors. After a quick venture into Vatoharanana in Ranomafana National Park the team, [...]

Adventures into uncharted territory

It is great to be back in Madagascar! On Nov 5 we departed Tana on our way to our first destination Pic d’Ivohibe . This special reserve is located south of Andringitra in the south east of Madagascar. This year there have only be three visitors to the reserve and the only herp trip there was [...]

Is it really the end?

I can’t believe it is getting to the end of my time here in Madagascar. 7 weeks seemed so long on the first day but it went by with a blink of the eye. I spent our final days sampling frogs at the Vohimana reserve and the Mitsinjo Forest. In my mind, I thought I [...]

Into the rice patties we go…

It was great to be back with the frogs after our taxi brousse adventure. Our next adventure took us to the forest around Fierenana, just north of Moramanga. The road to get there was an adventure in itself. Victor our driver did a fantastic job maneuvering around the potholes, steering clear of the landslides, and [...]

The adventures of an overnight taxi brousse ride

Our last few days in Ranomafana went very well. We travelled to the Vohiparara circuit with another frog group doing taxonomy work. The night was filled with mating frenzies of Guibemantis liber, Blommersia blommersae, Aglyptodactylus madagascariensis and many new species of tree frogs! The leeches were relentless as always. We were scheduled to leave ValBio [...]

Vatoharanana – The land of the leeches ( and some awesome frogs :) )

When a boa 2 meters long falls from a tree at your feet, the night resounds with the chirps, trills, and clicks of over 100 frogs species, fist-sized snails glide over the forest floor and insects of any shape, color and size crawl and buzz around, you know you are in the rainforest, one of [...]

January 10th, 2014 –In search of Mantella cowani

It was great to finally make it into the countryside of Madagascar. We, including Karina, Richard, Serge, our student from University of Tana, Devin from Association Mitsinjo, Brian a photographer from Cal Academy and me, were greeted with the rolling hills of green, interspersed with grey rock outcrops and dotted with small villages here and [...]

Travels to Isalo

Molly is proceeding to the Isalo area today to sample potential probiotics from Mantella expectata, as well as other species. This species is very rare and will definitely need protection if Bd arrives in this area. Isalo is in the southern part of Madagascar and differs from the rainforest habitats of Andasibe and Ranomafana that [...]

January 1, 2014 — The New Year Begins Safe and Sound in Madagascar

I arrived safe and sound in Madagascar after the long 30 plus hours of travel. Some fellow researchers, Karina and Richard Kloniski, arrived in Mada on the same flight so we tackled the baggage claim and customs together, and piled ourselves and our 10 bags into the taxi. I was quite amazed that we fit [...]