The rate of deforestation and species extinction are increasing worldwide, and substantial efforts are being made to establish new protected areas (NPAs), build local environmental organizations and improve management of new preserves. A recent study published in mongabay.com’s open-access journal, Tropical Conservation Science , discusses how sustainable conservation management strategies are being carefully planned for a newly established and ecologically rich protected area on the Ibity Massif in the central highlands of Madagascar. Madagascar’s highlands have a long history of human occupation and disturbance dating back 2000 years, and much natural vegetation is severely fragmented. Natural vegetation has been replaced by human influenced grasslands and agricultural areas. The local pockets of natural vegetation that remain constitute centers of high diversity, and the conservation of these areas are of high importance. One such region is Madagascar’s Ibity Massif. A landscape view of part of the Ibity Massif. Photo credit: EnviroReach. The study authors write that Ibity possesses “unique plant communities that are home to many species, both herbaceous and woody, endemic to Madagascar and in some cases to the Ibity region or the massif itself.” The preserve was granted temporary protection in December 2008, and is expected to get permanent […]

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