VIDEO: bringing the zoo to the forests of Madagascar

Every year, we send a group of staff from different departments in the zoo out to the field to help our project partners with vital conservation work. In 2018 we sent a group of 15 staff to the forests of Madagascar!

The Chester Zoo team travelled to Mangabe Forest to assist our partners at Madagasikara Voakajy in a variety of conservation tasks which would not be possible without the extra manpower.

It's really important to us that the expeditions we run assist and supplement the work that our field partners are doing.

Becca Biddle, Technical Assistant to CEO

Working with the local NGO, Madagasikara Voakajy, our team were able to help with monitoring and surveying the local wildlife such as the critically endangered golden mantella frog, the island’s vast variety of lemur species, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Due to the mix of skills and expertise within the team, they also were able to provide training for the local community in first aid, run snake-handling workshops, and work with local school groups on raising awareness of the amazing wildlife in the forest.

For many of the staff, this trip was a once in a lifetime experience that took them completely out of their comfort zones. Take a look at the video below to find out what the staff thought of Madagascar…

It's allowed us to learn new skills. So they can learn skills from us and we can take some skills from them.

Dave White, Team Manager

The Mangabe Forest is also a great spot for bird watching, so the local communities are keen to develop the area for ecotourism. The Chester Zoo team were on hand to help plan routes which could be ideal for tours.

A very special thank you to travel clothing brand, Craghoppers, who supported this expedition. Craghoppers provided technical clothing for the expedition team and also sent a representative to join the expedition, providing a well-appreciated extra pair of hands!