Harlequin Mantella Frog Project

The harlequin mantella frog (Mantella cowani) is a small, attractively-patterned frog endemic to the highlands of Madagascar. Listed as Endangered, this terrestrial species is threatened by grazing, bushfire and drainage.

Evidence of a drastic decline of harlequin mantella led to an action plan for their conservation in 2008. However, information on the biology and ecology of this species, which is only found in the wild, is still lacking; making it difficult to define efficient conservation actions.

This project intends to bridge that gap in Fohisokina, one of the frogs’ sites, by collecting biological and ecological data to complement research projects carried out on population structure and habitat assessment by other partners.

The project’s main objectives include:

  • Updating the known distribution of the species
  • Determining the structure and dynamic of the Harlequin’s mantella frog population in the site of Fohisokina
  • Collecting information on the biology of these endangered frogs during the breeding season
  • Assessing the microclimatic conditions, microhabitat uses and behavioural requirements of the harlequin mantella frog
  • Collecting information on local communities’ activities and perceptions on the conservation of the species
  • Establishing a safe ex situ component to the species supporting the applied research

Project partners:  

 Madagasikara VoakajyDICEASG

Project team

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Key Facts

Harlequin mantella frogs are endemic to Madagascar
The species has a highly restricted distribution as it has only been spotted in a few areas in the highlands of Madagascar
Harlequin mantella frogs are the most threatened of Madagascar’s amphibians

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