I received from Devin Edmonds an update of the captive breeding program in Andasibe. I am glad to share it with the readers of the Blog and with the members of Facebook page “A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar”


The area around the village of Andasibe in east-central Madagascar is one of the world’s true amphibian biodiversity hotspots. At least 100 species of frogs are found within a 30 km radius of town. The community-run conservation organization Mitsinjo (www.mitsinjo.org) has developed a biosecure captive breeding facility for amphibian species from this area as part of the call for this within the Sahonagasy Action Plan.

The captive breeding facility in May, 2012.

This facility aides conservation efforts in Madagascar by 1) conducting husbandry research on frog species from varied ecological guilds which have never been kept or bred in captivity before 2) managing captive assurance populations of local threatened species so reintroduction or supplementation programs can be developed as needed and 3) training future Malagasy amphibian conservationists in frog husbandry skills so other facilities can be established elsewhere in Madagascar. 

A floor plan of the facility and the three separate rooms for live food production, captive breeding, and quarantine.

Heterixalus betsileo and Stumpffia sp. “Ranomafana” are two of seven species being kept for husbandry research.

The Mitsinjo facility, which was constructed between November 2010 and March 2011, measures 185 m2 and contains separate rooms for live food production, captive frog populations, and quarantine. Live foods include five species of cricket, a fruit fly, and a cockroach, which have all been sourced locally from around Andasibe. Production of live foods is central to the success of the project, and technicians are currently working to breed additional invertebrates to diversify the diets of the captive amphibians.