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Madagascar 2017

The EDGE Programme delivered its seventh EDGE Conservation Tools Training Course held at Centre ValBio, Ranomafana in Madagascar. The course was attended by twelve participants, five of which were awarded EDGE Fellowships and five awarded Segré EDGE Fellowships.

Madagascar EDGE Conservation Tools training course 2016

Each year, as part of the EDGE Fellowship programme, ZSL runs an EDGE Conservation Tools training course, bringing together early-career conservationists from around the globe working on mammal, amphibian, reptile, bird and coral EDGE species.

Welcome to Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

In November 2016, twelve international participants joined experts from ZSL for four action packed weeks of intensive training in the tools required to design, implement and manage successful conservation projects. This year it was based at the very beautiful Centre ValBio surrounded by some of Madagascar’s finest wildlife!

Camera trapping

Through a series of lectures, hands-on practical’s and assessments, participants were taught four core modules: the principles of conservation biology, ecological monitoring, social science surveying techniques and applied conservation action.

Evenings with the lemurs

The wildlife kept a tight schedule. Evening visits to the neighbouring lemurs ensured we had no early nights..

Lemurs everywhere

We were lucky enough to see seven species of lemur during the course including the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)

Reptile paradise

Being surrounded by reptiles and amphibians on camp provided a lot of opportunities for the participants to gain hands on training in herpetological survey techniques.

Practical training

This involved training in species identification and disease swabbing

Conservation is not just about the animals

As well as the theory and practical application the group learnt all about community engagement and social science

Small mammal survey team

Early each morning the small mammal traps, which were baited the night before, were checked for small mammals.

Practising handling animals and collecting data

The animals were carefully identified and measured by the Fellows before being released back into the wild.

Fellows present their work to the group

Each of the course participants delivered a presentation on their projects including Sylviane from Madagascar.

Safety in the forest

Everyone came up with very creative solutions on the health and safety scenario day

Mapping with QGIS

The Fellows learnt QGIS and statistics to apply in their Fellowship projects

Invertebrate spotting

Local invertebrates kept us entertained during the coffee breaks

King of camouflage

But the mossy tailed gecko in Ranomafana National Park was possibly the highlight for all.. can you spot it?

Graduation celebrations!

All of the participants successfully completed the training course and were presented with certificates to mark their achievements. The EDGE team is now working with the course participants to support and develop their projects. If you are interested in attending the next training course and becoming an EDGE Fellow, please visit