I was only able to spend one night and day in Andasibe but the wildlife we encountered was amazing. It rained almost the whole time I was there but unperturbed and with little time to waste I headed off with my guide Nirina for a session of spotlighting the first night. Rain is never a real obstacle for a travelling biologist anyway and I knew Nirina would deliver the goods! And he did, we found some of the incredible animals that make up the endemic biodiversity of Madagascar.
This crazy looking guy is a brown leaf chameleon (Brookesia superciliaris), one of the smallest species in the world. They have a territory of approximatively 20 sqm! This one was about 3-4cm long and resting on a sapling when we found him.
We found this green bright-eyed frog (Boophis viridis) towards the end of the night. It was particularly tricky to photograph (same goes for the chameleon above) since I leftt my 430 EX flash and my good flashlight in Antananarivo. Frogs from the Boophis genus can only be found in Madagascar and the Comoros island.
Birds of Andasibe
Above is a Madagascar wood-rail (Mentocrex kioloides). The bird in the front is an adult and the one in the back is a juvenile. It was very difficult to get a good image through the dense understory of the rainforest. They were letting my guide and myself approach at a good distance and I managed to remove the x2 extender from my lens and get the extra light in!
Lemurs of Andasibe
This female diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) is part of a group introduced to the area as part of a translocation effort following clearing of their habitat. I followed her, and a juvenile, for a while but only got glimpses of them through the very dense canopy. After 20min I saw this opening through the leaves and branches and realised the female was climbing down on the trunk. I aimed at this point hoping she would stop there and she did for a matter of seconds. I got one sharp image and that was it!
All the images above are of common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus). We encountered several groups that were very active, moving from tree to tree and eating fruits. We saw them both in the Special Reserve Analamazaotra and the VOIMMA nearby.