Prof. Dr. Miguel Vences (Technische Universität Braunschweig) Dr. Frank Glaw (Zoologische Staatssammlung München) Dr. Angelica Crottini (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, CIBIO, Porto) Mention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Université d’Antananarivo a.o. Supported by BIOPAT, DAAD, DFG, DGHT, EAZA, Volkswagen-Stiftung, etc.
Biodiversity research in Madagascar
Species diversity, phylogeny and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Madagascar
The primary goal of this long-term project is to decipher the existing species diversity of amphibians and reptiles in Madagascar, providing the basis for research on evolutionary history, biogeography and current threats for biodiversity.
Species diversity of Madagascar's amphibians and reptiles is characterized by a high degree of microendemism (extremely small, local distribution areas), partly cryptic morphology (different species whose external appearance is very similar) and a high risk from continuing habitat destruction. In order to identify the existing diversity at the species level, various methodological approaches are combined in an integrative approach (morphology/anatomy, molecular genetics, bioacoustics). Clarification of species numbers and identity (which involves intensive collection-based research), helps to investigate evolutionary mechanisms and the understanding of current distribution patterns. In addition, the findings obtained are incorporated into nature conservation planning of respective regions and are made available to decision-makers and the public through reports and scientific publications. As part of this project, a large number of students and doctoral candidates are trained.