Bird Photography / Madagascar / Wildlife

Photographing the Wildlife of Andasibe – Madagascar

14 May ’15

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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.

Brookesia superciliaris AndasibeThis 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.

boophis viridis frog in AndasibeWe 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

Female Madagascar Magpie-robin Copsychus albospecularisAbove is a female Madagascar magpie-robin (Copsychus albospecularis). They were very common around the Vakona Forest Lodge where we were staying.

madagascar green pigeonA Madagascar green-pigeon (Treron australis) feeding in the canopy. They blend so well with their environment, I nearly did not see it.

Madagascar wood rail AndasibeAbove 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!

Madagascar Wagtail Motacilla flaviventrisThe Madagascar wagtail (Motacilla flaviventris) was very common everywhere we were, both in the main town and around the lodge.

Lemurs of Andasibe

diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) portrait andasibeThis 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!

Eulemur fulvus in the rainforest curious Eulemur fulvus  Eulemur fulvus in the canopy  Eulemur fulvus on a branchAll 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.

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Author

I am a nature photographer specialising in wildlife photography. I have a special passion for this type of photography which comes from my background as an ecologist & conservation biologist.

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