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Research Article

The harvest of endemic amphibians for food in eastern Madagascar [ pages 25-33 ]

Richard K. B. Jenkins1,2*, Andriamanana Rabearivelo3, Chan Tak Chan Wai Mine Andre4, Roma Randrianavelona1,5 and J. Christian Randrianantoandro1
    1 Madagasikara Voakajy, B. P. 5181, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar
    2 School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
    3 ACCE, Lot A 422, Moramanga (514), Madagascar
    4 Lot 404 Bis, Moramanga (514), Madagascar
    5 Département de Biologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Deliveries of edible, endemic amphibians to a restaurant in eastern Madagascar were monitored over a five-month period in the 2008 austral summer. Each frog collector was interviewed on arrival and information was obtained on collection locality, methods, frequency, as well as recording the number of frogs delivered. A total of 3,233 frogs were delivered to the restaurant during the study, averaging 249 per week. All of the 21 interviews concerned frogs collected in forest habitats at night by teams of between one and three people. Collection occurred in four localities, one of which (Fierenana) necessitated public transport to deliver the frogs. Effort at Fierenana was typically higher than at other sites with collectors frequently spending at least one night in the forest and traveling around 8.3 hours between their homes and forest collection locations. Income generated went directly to the collectors, who always delivered the frogs in person, and supply was determined by their available time, frog abundance, and weather conditions. Although the restaurant had no stated minimum quantity for purchase, small frogs were refused and collectors aimed for a minimum of 60 large frogs per delivery. The income generated by local amphibian collectors at Fierenena was similar for non-threatened edible species destined for domestic consumption (0.29 US$) and the Critically Endangered Mantella milotympanum collected for overseas export (0.32 US$). The harvest of edible frogs provides important income for individual hunters but additional study is needed to investigate its impact on frog populations and to develop methods to link sustainable collection practices with forest management.

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    Portuguese: Exploração de anfíbios endêmicos em Madagascar. Avaliações mundiais recentes indicam que um terço ou mais das 6.300 espécies de anfíbios—sapos, salamandras, e cecílias—estão ameaçadas de extinção. Esta tendência deve acelerar porque muitos anfíbios ocorrem nos trópicos e têm uma distribuição geográfica pequena que os torna suscetíveis à extinção. A crescente pressão pela destruição do habitat e mudanças climáticas deve ter maior impacto nas espécies adaptadas e distribuídas estreitamente e agrava os efeitos de doenças emergentes infecciosas e virulentas (e.g., quitridiomicose). Pressões adicionais nos anfíbios vêm da exploração para consumo humano. No seu artigo, Jenkins et al., se aproximam dessa questão documentando a coleta de anfíbios endêmicos no leste de Madagascar rico em espécies. Os autores relatam que a extensão da coleta de rãs endêmicas comestíveis das florestas de Madagascar, para comércio de alimento doméstico é pouco entendido, e eles proporcionam evidências de uma elevada demanda. Eles notam que a coleta de rãs comestíveis proporciona uma renda importante para caçadores individuais, mas esse estudo adicional é necessário para investigar o impacto da coleta nas populações de rãs e para desenvolver métodos para ligar as práticas de coleta sustentável com o manejo florestal.
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