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Presentation on theme: "Madagascar."— Presentation transcript:

1 Madagascar

2 What is Operation Wallacea?
Operation Wallacea is a UK based organization with offices in the US, Canada, China, Australia, South Africa, SE Asia, Sweden, Central America and Mexico. The research programmes are funded by tuition fees paid by undergraduates who join the research projects for experience, course credit or to gather data for an undergraduate or Masters level dissertation. In addition high school groups with teachers join these expeditions to gain experience of working on biodiversity research projects. The income generated also funds PhD studentships and 42 are currently being funded or have been recently completed. This model of tuition fee funded research over the summer months results in large number of publications in peer-reviewed journals each year, and 30 vertebrate species new to science have been discovered, as well as 4 'extinct' species being re-discovered. What is Operation Wallacea? Tropical scientific expeditions in 15countries 200+ academics running more than 120 projects Results published in peer-reviewed journals 2

3 What is Operation Wallacea?
30 new vertebrate species to science discovered Large temporal and spatial data sets obtained from tuition fee funded model Data used to assess the performance of conservation management programmes These large survey teams of academics and volunteers that are funded independently of normal academic sources have enabled large temporal and spatial biodiversity and socio-economic data sets to be produced, and provide information to help with organising effective conservation management programs 3

4 Global Research and Conservation Strategy
Stage 1 - Assessing ecosystem diversity and function Stage 2 - Monitoring ecosystem change Stage 3 - Monitoring socio-economic change Stage 4 - Establishing & monitoring the effectiveness of conservation management programmes The purpose behind the surveys is to provide accurate data on biodiversity and then use these data to lever funds to establish best practice examples of conservation management. So at each site a 4 stage process is followed. In the first few years the objective is to identify whether the site being studied has biological value - if not there is little point in continuing with the surveys but if there is value then the next stage is then to establish a widespread monitoring programme to determine how the communities of key taxa or population levels of key species are changing over time (stage 2). If this reveals a continuing decline then a programme for monitoring socio-economic change in adjacent communities is established to determine how these communities interact with the study site (stage 3). Once these stage 2 and stage 3 data are obtained funding applications are submitted via the Operation Wallacea Trust (a UK registered charity) to establish a best practice example of conservation management and the success of these programmes are then monitored (stage 4). There is obviously some considerable overlap between these stages and stage 1 projects can still be running in addition to a stage 4 programme in order to add data to understanding the ecosystem requirements of target species or adding to the overall species lists for previously un-worked taxa. 4

5 The expedition research programme is named after Alfred Russel Wallace who along with Darwin was the originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin came from a wealthy family and took a degree a Cambridge after deciding a medical degree at Edinburgh was not for him. Wallace on the other hand came from an impoverished family and left school at 14. Wallace though was to accomplish as much in his life as Darwin and was one the greatest Victorian naturalists. In 1831 Darwin joined HMS Beagle on a round the world expedition as the ship’s naturalist. It was during this 5 year voyage that Darwin began to realise that life on earth was not unchanging nor species immutable, but rather that gradual change over time was leading to the creation of new species. In September 1835, the Beagle arrived at the Galapagos Islands and Darwin was told how the giant tortoises on the different islands differed in form. Later on when examining the bird specimens which had been collected, he realised that the mockingbird species seemed to be different on the various islands and all closely related to a South American species. In May 1848 Wallace and his friend Henry Walter Bates who had first introduced him to entomology, arrived at Pará (Belém) at the mouth of the Amazon. Wallace was to spend 4 years exploring the Amazon whilst Bates spent 11 years collecting and became famous for his discovery of Batesian mimicry. In 1852 when Wallace returned to Barra (Manaus)he found that most of the specimens he had collected had been impounded by customs and hadn't been shipped as expected (note Customs in various countries are still using this trick to extort payments for scientific equipment or samples!). He took them with him and set sail for England, but 26 days into the voyage the ship caught fire and sank, taking his precious specimens and notebooks down with it. Wallace and the crew survived for 10 days in leaking lifeboats until they were luckily rescued by a passing cargo ship. Wallace arrived back in England with only a few drawings and notes he had managed to rescue from the burning ship. In fact he lost about half of his specimens from the 4 years – the other half had been sent back successfully, but the specimens he lost were the scientifically more interesting ones. In March 1854 Wallace left England on a collecting expedition to the Malay Archipelago (Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia). He was to remain in the region for 8 years and to visit all of the main islands, in the process becoming the foremost authority on the region. During his trip he discovered what became known as Wallace’s Line – an invisible line running between Bali and Lombok and Borneo and Sulawesi. It follows the course of a deep ocean trench and marks the eastern extent of Asian fauna and the western limit of the Australian fauna. Islands to the west of the Line were joined together during glacial periods when the sea level was lower, while the islands to the east of it were never connected to those to the west. Sulawesi and the islands between it and New Guinea were not connected during periods of lower sea level because the water between them is too deep. The plants and animals on them have therefore been isolated for a long time and many unusual species have evolved. This region was named Wallacea, after Wallace and is the first site at which Opwall started working. In February 1855, whilst in Sarawak, Wallace wrote a paper entitled ‘On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species'. It was published in September 1855 and proposed the following law: Every species has come into existence coincident both in time and space with a pre-existing closely allied species. The paper clearly describes how species have evolved over time, with some becoming extinct and new ones evolving from earlier forms. It also describes how volcanic islands are populated by species from the nearest mainland and only when isolated for very long periods do new species form. The paper was written at a time when the general belief was that species were unchanging and created by God. At this stage Wallace had not yet discovered the mechanism that drives evolutionary change. Lyell whose work on geological change had inspired Wallace, read this paper and brought it to the attention of Darwin. In February 1858 whilst suffering from a fever (probably malaria) , Wallace suddenly realised how new species are formed. As soon as he had sufficient strength he wrote an essay entitled ‘On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type’ and send it with a letter to Darwin, asking him to pass it on to Lyell. Darwin had mentioned to him that Lyell (who Wallace didn't know) had found his 1855 paper noteworthy and Wallace probably thought that Lyell would therefore be interested to learn about this new theory since it explained the evolutionary "law"he had proposed in the "Sarawak Law" paper. When Darwin received Wallace's essay in June 1858 he was horrified, as it described the same theory he had thought of about 20 years before but never published. In order to ensure that Darwin would share the credit for the idea, his friends Lyell and Joseph Hooker decided to present Wallace's essay plus some unpublished extracts from Darwin's writings on the subject to a meeting of the Linnaean Society of London on the 1st of July A few weeks later these manuscripts were published together as a scientific paper with Darwin and Wallace's names as co-authors. This was the first paper to clearly explain the theory of evolution by natural selection- an idea which was to transform biology and much else. Before Darwin received Wallace's 'bombshell' essay, he had been slowly writing a huge book on evolution, which had ironically been prompted by Wallace's 1855 paper and the worry that someone like Wallace might publish the theory of natural selection before he did. Once the paper with Wallace had been published in August 1858 Darwin went into overdrive, rewriting and condensing the text of his planned book. It was published only 15 months later in 1859 with the title 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection', and it became the focus of debates about evolution from that point onwards. Darwin and Wallace's original essay was eventually largely forgotten and Darwin ended up receiving most of the kudos for the discovery of the revolutionary idea of natural selection. Wallace went on to publish his findings and thoughts on biogeography (the study of why species are found where they are) and became known as the father of biogeography. Students are being invited to follow in the spirit of Wallace and Darwin (although you don’t have to send 5 – 8 years travelling as they did!) and join biodiversity assessment teams working in remote parts of the world In 2015 the research programmes will be running at 30 sites across 15 countries. In Indonesia there are two sites in endemic rich lowland rainforest and one on the most biologically diverse reef systems in the World. In Africa there are 5 bush veld (three low veld, Thanda, Pongola and two site in Kruger and one high veld, Welgevonden) sites and one reef site. In Madagascar we have sites in dry forest and a reef site. In South America we have sites in Amazonian rainforest and in Guiana Shield rainforest at Iwokrama whilst in Ecuador we have cloud forest and lowland forest sites. In Central America we have a reef site in Cuba and a cloud forest, lowland forest and two contrasting reef sites in Honduras, a forest and reef site in Dominica and a site in the Mayan forests and two sites at the northern end of the Meso-American Barrier reef in Mexico. In Europe we have a site in the foothills of the Carpathians in Transylvania, on one of the Dodecanese sites in Greece (starts 2015) and in the Cevennes mountains and protected areas in France and Italy . In Asia we have a site on the Tibetan plateau and another in lowland forests in China. This not only provides a lot of choice for volunteers wanting to join the programme but also enables similar studies completed on the same habitats in different parts of the World to be compared. Indonesia (3), South Africa (6), Madagascar (2), Peru (1), Guyana (1), Honduras (4) Mexico (3), Cuba (1), Transylvania (1), Ecuador (2) Dominica (2) and new for 2015 Greece (1), France and Italy (1) and China (2)

6 Team Members Principal Researchers Assistant Researchers
Visiting Academics Dissertation Students Research Assistants General Surveyors Operations Staff Medical Staff The principal researchers are the 200+ academics who participate in the programme each year. We are also part funding 42 PhD students from universities in the UK, US and overseas and these act as Assistant Researchers. The Dissertation Students and Research Assistants are university students. Some tasks though need a much greater amount of manpower than can be provided by just university academics and students and this extra manpower is provided by General Surveyors. Without General Surveyors we could not, for example, gather forest structure and habitat data on all 150+ forest research sites in Honduras and in Indonesia, or collect and press large numbers of plant specimens. These tasks are carried out by groups of high school students from around the world, who must be accompanied by their biology or geography teachers. The groups undertake their own training programme, with in-built tests of the accuracy of the data being collected by each group. This training could cover how to assess forest structure, identify target tree species, monitor turtle breeding, etc. Once trained, you spend the second part of your first week working on the aspects of the overall survey programme for which you have been trained. You also have the opportunity to observe research scientists in the field, and to join some of their these projects when you are not involved in your own data collection. In most cases, General Surveyors spend their second week completing a dive-training or a reef ecology course. There are large numbers of Operations staff with one staff member for every two students at most sites. We have doctors, accident and emergency nurses or paramedics at each of the sites to provide the medical cover needed to support the expeditions. This enables us to run a medical elective programme, offering medical students a chance to experience real life, hands on expedition medicine.

7 Option 1- Dry Forests and Reefs
In 2003 the government of Madagascar pledged to increase the area of land under conservation protection primarily using National Parks from the 3% at that point to 10%. Since then a number of National Parks have been created but in order to achieve the full 10% target of the total land area with conservation protection in Madagascar, it is going to be necessary to utilise other levels of conservation protection in addition to the strict National Park status where no human settlements are allowed. Indeed even within the existing Madagascar National Park network there are a number of areas with strict protection where the habitat is still recovering from previous exploitation. Setting aside substantial blocks of additional undamaged land for National Parks where no communities currently exist is going to be very difficult politically since it will have a substantial economic impact on already poor rural communities. For habitat conservation to be really successful up to and beyond the 10% target though a conservation management system needs to be developed that allows a patchwork of exploited areas adjacent to communities with other areas given strict protection. However, does a patchwork of smaller protected areas within a framework of exploited areas enable biodiversity to be fully protected? As a test of this approach a management plan for the Mahamavo dry forests and associated wetlands in the north west of Madagascar around the village of Mariarano has been developed by the German Technical Aid programme (DTZ). This area, which Birdlife International has identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) is a patchwork of agricultural areas, exploited and protected areas with strong local community support for the approach. Option 1- Dry Forests and Reefs

8 Transfer from Tana to Mahajanga
Travel inside Madagascar is difficult and expensive so it is easiest to get your international flights to Antananarivo and the Opwall travel team will organise your travel to and from the start points in Madagascar. Travel is made significantly more difficult because Air Madagascar which has a monopoly of the internal flights doesn’t publish its timetables until just a few months in advance and then have a habit of simply unilaterally changing the routes and times! As a result it is easier to fly into Tana, stay overnight in a hotel and then be transferred overland to Mahajanga (approx 10 hours). Transfer from Tana to Mahajanga

9 Journey to Mariarano from Mahajanga
From Mahajanga to the survey sites in Mariarano takes about 4 hours. The road is not in great condition so the group changes into what are locally known as taxi brousses – lorries with canvas tops and seats in the back. Journey to Mariarano from Mahajanga

10 Mahamavo forests and transects
The main camp for the Mahamavo surveys is in the village of Mariarano and a series of land based and river transects have been established. The Matsedroy field camp has another series of land based transects Mahamavo forests and transects

11 Mariarano Village Camp
The first part of the week will be spent in the main Mariarano camp where accommodation is in tents. The camp is on the edge of the village of Mariarano. Mariarano Village Camp

12 Mariarano Village Camp
The village is very friendly and living amongst this remote local community and collecting your water from the well is a special experience. Food is excellent although you need to like rice!! They have lots of chicken and even local crab and occasionally xebu. There are vegetaria options for each meal as well. Mariarano Village Camp 12

13 Palm Screen Showers and long-drop toilets Mariarano Village Camp
The slide shows the showers, which each have a bucket of water that you tip over yourself to wash with. In addition there are long drop toilets with toilet seats and urinals Palm Screen Showers and long-drop toilets Mariarano Village Camp 13

14 The second part of the week will be spent in the Matsedroy field camp
The second part of the week will be spent in the Matsedroy field camp. All the equipment is moved in Zebu carts which act as 4-wheel drive vehicles in this area! Satellite Camp

15 The students though have to trek to the Matsedroy camp in the forest
The students though have to trek to the Matsedroy camp in the forest. This trek takes around 2 hours. Satellite Camp

16 Matsedroy Camp Matsedroy Camp
There are crocodiles in many of the lakes nearby so the Matsedroy field camp is fenced. Matsedroy Camp Matsedroy Camp

17 The views out over the lake from the camp are spectacular.
Matsedroy Camp

18 As with the Mariarano Camp there are large covered areas for training, food and data entry. Students stay in tents at this camp and have the same shower and toilet facilities as at the main camp. Matsedroy Camp

19 Madagascar Wildlife Course
Introduction to Madagascar Biogeography and evolution of Madagascar wildlife Species concept (endemic amphibian, reptile bird and mammal species in Madagascar) Biodiversity conservation in Madagascar People in Madagascar (major cultures and languages) Conservation synthesis (how the data are being used). Madagascar was only settled by humans around 2000 years ago. When humans arrived they found a fauna that had been isolated for about 80 million years since Madagascar split from the super continent of Gondwana. The island had some huge species like the elephant bird that stood 3m tall and weighed half a ton! There were also lemurs the size of gorillas, giant tortoises and dwarf hippos – now all extinct at the hands of humans. During the forest week there will be a series of lectures about Madagascar wildlife. The students will be working from dawn until late morning when they return to the camp. After lunch there is a rest time before the groups go back out again mid afternoon returning for dinner and there are also evening activities. So some of the lectures are given after lunch in the rest period. Lecture 1 : Living and working in Mahamavo/Ifotaka - orientation lecture: An introduction to the habitats and biodiversity of Madagascar. Students will also learn about the threats to wildlife and the aims of the scientific work they will be involved in. Lecture 2 : An extraordinary Island - biodiversity, biogeography and evolution of wildlife in Madagascar. An introduction to evolution and the unique situation of Madagascar. Students will learn about the bio-geography of the island and why there are such high numbers of unusual species. The early impact of humans will also be discussed. Lecture 3: What’s the use of their having names? (the Gnat speaking from Lewis Carroll’s Alice through the looking glass ) -taxonomy, systematics and its practical importance in conservation fieldwork. This lecture looks at taxonomy and classification and its role in field conservation. It also investigates the necessity for redlists and the emerging role of genetic tools. Lecture 4: Biodiversity conservation in Madagascar. This lecture discusses conservation priorities and protected areas in Madagascar. It also looks at the conflicts between wildlife and people and the possible effects of climate change. Lecture 5: People in Madagascar This lecture looks at the history, culture and heritage of Madagascar and what life holds for the modern Malagasy. Discussion/Activity – Sustainability what is it and how does it work? Lecture 6: Conservation synthesis This final lecture looks at how data collected in Mahamavo/Ifotaka can be used to see patterns and trends in biodiversity and its subsequent use in conservation management. The role of remote sensing is also considered.

20 Biodiversity surveys – herpetofauna routes
However, for the rest of the time the groups will be divided into smaller teams and helping with biodiversity field surveys. One option they will complete is to help with the herpetofauna survey routes. A small group of students led by a herpetologist will walk slowly along a forest sample route scanning the vegetation and ground carefully for reptiles and amphibians since many species particularly chameleons are quite cryptic. Biodiversity surveys – herpetofauna routes

21 Biodiversity surveys - spotlighting
Spotlight surveys are also done in the evening. Madagascar has 230 species of frogs – all but two of which are endemic to the island. This group though is still not fully described because in recent years 120 of these species have just been described. So the chances of finding a new species of frog on the surveys are reasonable. Spotlight and sound surveys are also used for the frogs – remember in Madagascar 100% of the native species of frogs are endemic to the island. Fortunately Madagascar is one of the few places left in the World where Chytrid fungus has not yet occurred. Chytrid fungus has decimated amphibian populations in other parts of the World an dif it ever gets into Madagascar it could have catastrophic impacts on the endemic rich frog populations. Biodiversity surveys - spotlighting

22 Biodiversity surveys – spotlighting
Spotlight surveys also reveal chameleons. Madagascar is home to about half the World’s species of chameleons Biodiversity surveys – spotlighting

23 Biodiversity Surveys - Herpetofauna
This funny looking thing is a leaf tailed gecko. The herpetology team walk slowly along the forest transects, recording all sightings of herpetofauna. Each volunteer is a vital extra pair of eyes. Biodiversity Surveys - Herpetofauna

24 Standardised searches for reptiles
Daytime standardised searches for reptiles for groups of students will be led by a herpetologist and accompanied by a local guide will walk slowly along a forest sample route. Everyone needs to scan the vegetation and ground carefully for reptiles and amphibians since many species are quite cryptic. When an individual or group of animals is detected it will be caught (by the trained herpetologist) and the number of individuals and the location are recorded. If the species is common, it will be identified on the spot and the Latin name recorded on the data sheet. More unusual species will be taken back to the camp for photographing and later identification with field guides and keys before the specimen is returned to the location it was caught. Standardised searches for reptiles 24

25 Biodiversity surveys - diurnal lemur transects
Madagascar is best known for it’s lemurs. Lemurs evolved about 40 to 50 million years ago and must have colonised Madagascar after the split from Africa. These primitive primates are known as Prosimians and in Africa were replaced by modern monkeys about 10 million years ago. However, modern monkeys never reached Madagascar so the Lemurs continued to thrive and diversify. There are 86 species of lemurs still surviving on Madagascar including the Coquerels Sifaka (pictured) which you will see in the Mahamavo forests. Day time transects are being walked to gain estimates of population densities of this species and the brown lemur and there are also teams completing scan and focal sampling of these animals to determine activity budgets and food prefernces. Biodiversity surveys - diurnal lemur transects 25

26 Biodiversity surveys - nocturnal lemur spotlighting
Nocturnal transects are also used with spotlights to survey the nocturnal species such as the sportive lemurs pictured. Biodiversity surveys - nocturnal lemur spotlighting

27 Nocturnal spotlighting
Nocturnal lemurs will be surveyed from shorter night transect walks, and trapped using Sherman traps. Remember there are no venomous snakes and no large mammalian predators such as cats so the forests are safe to work in at night. Nocturnal spotlighting

28 Biodiversity surveys – point counts
Another team working in the early morning will be completing point counts for the birds such as the Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher (left) and Madagascar Coucal (right) both of which are endemic to Madagascar. In the course of a point count activity, students will walk along a sample route in the early morning with a member of the ornithology team and a local guide, stopping at several sample sites for 10 minutes to undertake point counts. When a group of birds is detected the team will record the species, the group size, the estimated distance to the birds and the method of observation (seen, heard, seen and heard). Biodiversity surveys – point counts

29 Biodiversity surveys – point counts
Another endemic is the Madagascar Magpie Robin. Biodiversity surveys – point counts

30 Vangas are an endemic family of birds on Madagascar and their bill shave diversified rather like Darwins finches on the Galapagos. The sickle-billed Vanga (above) fills the niche occupied by the Wood hoopoes in Africa. Biodiversity surveys

31 Biodiversity surveys - wetland bird transects
Another option at the Mariarano Camp is to join one of the boat based surveys which are completing transect counts of wetland birds Biodiversity surveys - wetland bird transects

32 Biodiversity surveys - wetland bird transects
Another endemic is the rare Madagascar Sacred Ibis Biodiversity surveys - wetland bird transects

33 Biodiversity surveys - wetland bird transects
Cattle Egret Biodiversity surveys - wetland bird transects

34 Biodiversity surveys – crocodile monitoring on wetland surveys
Photos can be used to uniquely identify crocodiles by the scale patterns on the left and right sides of the base of the tail. This permits ‘capture’-‘mark’-‘recapture’ analysis of the crocodile population without the danger associated with handling these animals and there is a PhD student on site leading these surveys to obtain data on their total population size. Biodiversity surveys – crocodile monitoring on wetland surveys

35 Biodiversity surveys - small mammal trapping
Another option is to help with the small mammal trapping programme. The aim of the live trapping programme is to understand more about the small mammals inhabiting the area, with the possibility of catching animals that aren’t already know from our species list from previous years. The traps will be baited and set in the evenings. Students will then check traps and process any captures in a morning session. When a small mammal is caught it will be identified to species (student will be encouraged to do this with reference to field guides. The animal will be weighed and standard body measurements taken. Shrews, moles and hedgehogs are absent from Madagascar so a group of primitive mammals – tenrecs – have diversified to fill these niches. Five of the tenrecs are spiny like hedgehogs and 19 are furred and fill the shrew niches. There are 3 species that behave like moles and even one species that has become aquatic catching small fish. Biodiversity surveys - small mammal trapping

36 Biodiversity surveys – bat mist netting
There is also the option to help with mist netting for bats. Biodiversity surveys – bat mist netting

37 Biodiversity surveys – bat mist netting

38 Forest Structure and Botanical Sampling
Perhaps the most important data set gathered by the schools teams are those on the forest structure Forest Structure and Botanical Sampling

39 Forest Structure and Botanical Sampling
The aim of making measurements in a stratified sample of plots in the forests in Mahamavo is to estimate the amount of carbon stored in woody vegetation. These data are being used as part of a report being prepared on the Mahamavo forests to obtain funding under the Reduction in Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) scheme. In addition this activity monitors trends in some indicators of forest physical parameters (canopy cover, sapling density). In addition there is a botanist on site who will be helping to identify woody plant species. The groups will be shown how to identify the specimens to genus (and perhaps species) with reference to a dichotomous key (Schatz 2001) of the woody plant flora of Madagascar with illustrated botanical glossaries. Forest Structure and Botanical Sampling

40 Mariarano Village

41 Mariarano holds a weekly market when people from the outlying areas come to the village.
Mariarano Market

42 If your trip coincides with the village school being open we will endeavour to arrange for you to visit…you will get an amazing welcome! Mariarano Village

43 At the end of your first week you will travel overland to Nosey Be, which is an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. This is a long journey and o Saturday morning at the end of your first week you will travel by taxi brousse to the main road and overnight in the Ankarafantsika National Park. There will be time for a quick look around the Ankarafantsika National Park where you should look out for the mongoose lemur. The rest of the Sunday will be travelling to Ambanja where you will overnight. Then early on Sunday morning the group will travel to Ankify and by boat across to the marine research site on Nosy Be island. Nosy Be 43

44 There is tourism on Nosy Be but the site where the students are based is in a small bay away from the main town of Hellville Marodoka Camp

45 Students will stay in communal buildings and tents next to the beach at Marodoka. Most of the diving is boat based, with the shallow reefs only about 400m out in the sheltered bay so diving conditions are excellent. At the Marodoka site there is a small dive centre which has lecture facilities and a mobile kitchen. Marodoka marine camp 45

46 The Moradoka site is on the edge of a small village and just 400m from the edge of the Lokobe Reserve. Moradoka marine site

47 PADI Open Water dive training
At Maradoka students can do a PADI Open Water course which takes the whole week and consists of theory lectures, confined water exercises and then 4 open water dives to a maximum depth of 18m. The confined water skills are done in the shallow sheltered waters just off the main camp PADI Open Water dive training 47

48 PADI Open Water dive training
A second option is to arrive on site having already done the theory and the confined water sessions. The school will need to pay a Dive Instructor to give this training ahead of the expedition. The advantage of this arrangement though is that once on site the students spend their first 3 days completing the Open Water training and getting the requisite dives and then spend 3 days completing the latter part of the reef ecology course. PADI Open Water dive training

49 Indian Ocean Reef Ecology Course
A third option for those who are already dive qualified or for those who don’t want to dive at all and would prefer to snorkel is to do the Indian Ocean reef ecology course. This course gives training in how to identify the main species of corals, invertebrates and fish. Indian Ocean Reef Ecology Course 49

50 Indian Ocean Reef Ecology Course
In addition training is given in common marine biological survey techniques. There are lectures each day followed by in water practicals which can be done either by diving or snorkelling. Indian Ocean Reef Ecology Course

51 One of the survey techniques the groups will learn about is the use of stereo video to quantify reef fish communities. The surveys are completed along transects using the stereo video survey approach that was developed by the University of Western Australia and is being used at the other Opwall marine research sites in Cuba, Honduras and Indonesia. The 2014 Opwall survey teams are completing the first full stereo video surveys of the reef fish communities on the reefs around this part of Nosy Be. The traditional way of completing reef fish community surveys is to lay a transect tape and then swim 2.5m above the tape and record on a slate all the fish encountered in an imaginary box 2.5 m either side of the tape and below the observer. Stereo video surveys

52 OK let’s try it – this is a video of one of the reefs in Mozambique
OK let’s try it – this is a video of one of the reefs in Mozambique. Now pretend you are swimming along and have to identify ALL the fish you see along the transect, the fish must be within the 2.5m box and you have to estimate their lengths – reckon you can do it? The stereo video technique however, allows you to record the fish along the transect so you can play back the tape and stop the film at any point to confirm identifications. There is also a digital record of the reef fish communities that can be checked in future years if there is any doubt about the results.

53 Travel Schedule for Madagascar (part 1)
Friday – arrive in Antanararivo and overnight Saturday - overland to Mahajanga and overnight at hotel Sunday - taxi brousse to Mariarano and start prohect at 1600hrs Monday to Friday: Madagascan Wildlife Ecology course and surveys in the Mariarano forests Saturday – leave for marine site So to summarise your internal travel schedule in Madagascar. You need to get your international flights to Antananarivo to arrive on the Friday before your expedition starts and overnight in Tana. On the Saturday you will be taken by bus to Mahajanga (10hrs) where you will stay in a hotel overnight. On the Sunday morning you will be transferred by taxi brousse to the start of the expedition in Mariarano for the 4pm start. Monday to Friday you will complete your Wildlife Ecology course and help with the forest surveys spending some time in the main Mariarano camp and some time in one of the field camps. 53

54 Travel Schedule for Madagascar (part 2)
Saturday – taxi brousse to main road and Akarafantsika National Park and overnight Sunday – look around Ankarafantsika & transfer by bus to Ambanja and overnight Monday - boat to Nosy Be and start marine week Tuesday to Friday: dive training or reef ecology course Saturday – fly from Nosy Be to Antananarivo to catch international flights home On the Saturday at the end of your first week you will travel by taxi brousse to Akarafantsika National Park where you will overnight. On the Sunday you will look around the Ankarafantsika Park and then travel by bus to Ambanja and overnight. On Monday morning you will be transferred to Nosy Be and begin your marine week. Tuesday to Friday you complete dive training or the reef ecology course. On the Saturday the group will fly out of Nosy Be back to Antananarivo and catch their international flights home on the Saturday evening or early Sunday morning 54

55 Lemur and chameleon hunt
If the above schedule is not enough overland travelling for you then you have the option in the second week instead of going to the Nosy Be marine to travel overland on a lemur and chameleon hunt in week 2 ending up at Antananarivo. Whilst in the Mahamavo forests you should have seen Coquerel’s Sifaka, Brown Lemur and various nocturnal species of lemurs but travelling around additional reserves will give you the chance to see additional species plus new species of chameleons and birds. Each day combines some time on the road travelling in a bus or 4x4 vehicle. The itinerary will include the Ankarafantsika Reserve where you should be looking for the Mongoose Lemur and Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur as well as endemic birds such as the Rufous and Van Dam’s Vangas. The journey will take you to the northern tip of Madagascar to the Ankarana Reserve where you should be looking for the Crowned Head and Sanford’s Brown Lemurs as well as the Madagascar Crested Ibis. The next stop would be the Protected Area of ​​Andrafiamena-Andavakoera which is 30,000ha of medium altitude rainforest and the last refuge of the Black Lemur. The final stop will be at Amber Mountain National Park which comprises a massif which rises from the surrounding dry region forming an isolated stretch of montane rainforest covering . The group will finish at Diego Suarez airport and fly back to Antananarivo to catch their international flights home. Accommodation will be in simple hotels, guesthouses or camping en route and this trip will give you the chance to see a lot more of Madagascar’s wildlife. This option has an additional surcharge of $???? over and above the price paid for the 2 week Opwall expedition including internal transfers. Lemur and chameleon hunt

56 Lemur and chameleon hunt
The journey will take you to the northern tip of Madagascar to the Ankarana Reserve where you should be looking for the Crowned Head and Sanford’s Brown Lemurs as well as the Madagascar Crested Ibis. Crowned Head Lemur pictured. Lemur and chameleon hunt

57 Lemur and chameleon hunt
The next stop would be the Protected Area of ​​Andrafiamena-Andavakoera which is 30,000ha of medium altitude rainforest and the last refuge of the Black Lemur. The final stop will be at Amber Mountain National Park which comprises a massif which rises from the surrounding dry region forming an isolated stretch of montane rainforest covering . The group will finish at Diego Suarez airport and fly back to Antananarivo to catch their international flights home. Accommodation will be in simple hotels, guesthouses or camping en route and this trip will give you the chance to see a lot more of Madagascar’s wildlife. Lemur and chameleon hunt

58 You might have noticed some slightly dangerous aspects to these expeditions as I have been going through the talk! ‘OpWall is responsible for the health and safety of all those on the expeditions from the specified expedition start place, date and time until when they return to the specified expedition finish place, date and time. Health & Safety

59 Health & Safety Issues Training of students in safety procedures
Risk assessments Medical cover Communications Political instability Emergency evacuation plans prepared for all sites Expedition is compliant with BS8848 and LoTC Accident statistics published A few months before the expedition starts the school teacher leader is sent a link to a portal that has videos, webinars and other training material to help the group prepare for their expedition. The teacher then forwards this link to all the participants and parents to watch at their leisure. In addition if required the Country Manager will hold a Skype meeting with the group to go through any outstanding questions. Risk assessments have been produced for each location visited (dive site, forest, camp) activity undertaken (eg diving, trekking, etc) as well as specific research project associated risks. These risk assessments are on the Operation Wallacea web site and can be downloaded to help with planning your expedition. Volunteers when they first arrive are required to complete an exercise where they are asked to identify the risks likely to be encountered at the site and on the various activities and projects they will be doing. This process is designed to get all volunteers thinking about risks and how to reduce them for themselves before they are told of the agreed risk reduction measures. The risk assessment measures published on the web site are audited on site by the Safety Auditor for each site. There is a doctor, nurse or paramedic at each of the sites The key to safety at any of the sites is communication. In all sites there is radio coverage between the main site and the satellite sites. In addition the leaders for each forest group carry radios that communicate back to their main camp. In Mariarano there is a satellite phone connection and contact whilst on Nosy Be there is mobile phone coverage. Although in the past there have been concerns about Madagascar because of political unrest or xebu rustling in the south of Madagascar, the places visited on this expedition are safe. The dive safety procedures used by Operation Wallacea are more strict than normal procedures at dive centres and have been approved by the Scientific Dive Safety Committee (SDSC) as meeting the requirements for UK universities. There is a ratio of 1 dive instructor and 1 dive master for every 8 students in the water as well as a ratio of 1:6 students per Dive Masters, which is much better than most dive centres operate with and diving is restricted to 18m for a maximum time of 50 mins and with all divers back on the boat with at least 50 bar left in the tanks. The dive limits are designed to be so strict because recompression would require evacuation with oxygen to South Africa or Reunion Evacuation plans for Emergency Priority emergency evacuations (normally by air but in some cases in conjunction with overland routes), High Priority (fastest overland route to a hospital) and Medium Priority (most convenient and comfortable overland route) have been developed for each site and are published on the Operation Wallacea web site before the start of each expedition. £1 million medical and evacuation insurance cover has been purchased for all participants by Operation Wallacea so that the evacuation co-ordinating company (Mayday Assistance) appointed by the insurer can with the help of the Medical and Evacuation plans can establish contacts and agree prices in advance with all the hospitals, air ambulances etc likely to be used in an emergency. This is done so there are no delays if an incident were to occur. Detailed reports showing how the expeditions meet or exceed each of the clauses of BS8842 – British Standard for Expedition Safety. The Government has launched a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge for organisations running overseas expeditions. Opwall are one of only seven companies who have been independently assessed and have been awarded the LOtC badge. Data on the accidents, near misses and illnesses from the Operation Wallacea expeditions over the last 10 years have shown that joining one of the expeditions actually has a lower risk than a rock concert or marathon. (Hodgets and Cook, 1999) and is safer than going on a sports tour or ski trip. We publish the accident and illness data from each year’s expedition on our web site and over the last 18 years despite thousands of students participating in the expeditions there have been no serious injuries on any of the Opwall projects.

60 Links to Exams, Course Work, and University Entry
Relevant practicals and lectures for IB, AP , A level or Highers IB – extended essay, CAS, PSOW Stand alone extended project EPQ UK universities – University Award or CoPE US universities – course credit University applications and interviews There are numerous ways in which you can use the expeditions to help with university entry or to get relevant field experience or lectures that will help with A level, Higher, IB or AP studies Relevant practicals and lectures for IB, AP , A level or Highers Students joining the expeditions will gain first-hand experience of collecting data in the field and observing scientists at work. Working in the field gives these students a much better understanding of many of the aspects of biology, environmental science or geography syllabuses. Experience has shown that those studying other subjects though also benefit greatly from the experience and you do not necessarily have to be a ‘scientist’ to go on an expedition. At many of the sites the students have the chance to practice foreign languages (e.g. Spanish, Portuguese, French). IB (International Baccalaureate) In addition to the CAS or Creativity, Action and Service components which can be incorporated into an Opwall expedition (e.g. dive training counts for the action section or their conservation contribution for the service elements), the field exercises can contribute towards the Practical Scheme of Work (PSOW) and could be assessed for data collection and processing or conclusion and evaluation internal assessment elements. Also a number of students are developing their Extended Essays around their involvement in one of the research expeditions.  There are 20+ research topics at each of the expedition sites that students can use to develop potential essay title ideas.  The Opwall website also has background information and initial reading lists on each of the topic areas which enable students to get started on their research.  Once the student has chosen a topic they can then be put in touch with the academic leading on that research topic and further advice could then given in selecting an appropriate question for that expedition site.  The student can then prepare a literature review of the question before they go into the field. Once in the field they then have access to scientists and field biologists who provide additional knowledge and advice.  Most of the research programmes have standardised surveying techniques (needed to compare between sites or over time) so the student will not have the opportunity to design and implement their own survey methodology.  However, on expedition, the student will invariably be involved in contributing data using these standardised methods and they will have the opportunity to have access to larger data sets which they could then use to help answer their Extended Essay Research question.  Possibly the biggest motivation for students is the opportunity to experience many aspects of their Research Question ‘first-hand’ and have the unique chance to speak with the actual scientists involved. EPQ – Extended Project Qualification EPQ is a stand-alone qualification offered in the UK and is a single piece of work that requires research skills and presentation. The EPQ is supervised and tutored by your school and the role of Opwall is to help you observe your research topic when you go on your expedition. Opwall can provide a relevant list of research questions for each expedition site using the 150 questions described for the IB section above. It is worth between 20 and 70 UCAS points depending on the quality of the final dissertation. The report is either 5,000 words or 1,000 words plus a presentation (150 hours). UK universities Universities Award (UA) For students applying to UK universities this Award which can be included on your UCAS application for UK universities is the equivalent of the US university course credit system. Those students completing the research programme qualify for a Universities Award from ASDAN. The award which costs £25 per student is well recognized by UCAS and allows a student to demonstrate a range of personal skills. CoPE A second option is to complete a Certificate of Personal Effectiveness awarded by ASDAN, which is counted by UCAS on their application forms as 70 points - equivalent to an A grade at AS level. The students need to register for the qualification (costs £60) and need to document the various parts of their expedition involvement in order to pass the qualification. Effectively this is the same as the University Award but the students have to produce an extensive portfolio of evidence. To help with this Opwall give each of the students a USB pen with the relevant forms and worked examples of the evidence needed to demonstrate each skill. There are 6 skills that are tested – 3 of which apply to the fundraising and expedition preparation part of the expedition (these need to be completed and handed by March of the year of expedition) and the other 3 of which apply to the field part of the expedition. The 6 skills are: Problem Solving - the fundraising element of the expedition is used for this skill. After a presentation by the Opwall Fundraiser about how other schools have raised income each student has to complete a business plan for their individual fundraising target. This plan should contain a list of the grants and sponsorship to be targeted, fundraising activities and events, dates. Each student would submit these to the Opwall Moderator and at the end of their fund raising they would submit a follow up report assessing how they had performed against each of the activities or events and lessons learned. Working with Others – this is also done as part of the fundraising activities. The student completes a review sheet on how they planned and implemented one joint fundraising event or activity. Discussion - this is assessed by an Opwall moderator observing the group planning for their expedition in small groups. Evidence is needed that each of the participants has done background research on topics such as flights and travel to the site, visas, injections, kit requirements etc. Research - before the students go out on expedition they pick one of the research questions below and prepare a short essay answer using the directed reading and additional material they have found. On site the students will have the chance to meet with scientists and experts in the identified research areas so they can modify their initial essay based on these conversations and direct experience on site. Both the initial essay and the modified essay are then submitted on their return at the end of the expedition. Oral Presentation The student have to give a presentation about their research topic before they leave at the end of their second week to the other students and staff onsite . Improving Learning and Experience This section would be assessed during the PADI Open Water diving course in week 1 (or the training for the stereo video and benthic surveys if they are already dive trained) and the applicant will complete the Plan/Do/Review sheet. US University course credit For students going to US universities Operation Wallacea expeditions can earn university course credit from the University of West Florida which can then be used to negotiate credits when applying for relevant courses at US universities. The course credit is based on test results after the field courses (20%), a field diary (20%) and an assessment of student performance in the field (10%). In addition the student has to prepare a research essay which is submitted within one month of returning from the expedition and this accounts for the remaining 50% of the marks. UWF will then issue the student with a summary of the course, learning objectives and the students performance which can then be used to apply for credit for relevant degrees at other US universities. If students want to do this they need to sign up on line in advance of the expedition to this UWF course (costs $600 for 3 credits). University applications and interviews One of the best uses of the expeditions is to enhance your application for university entry. In the UK every potential University student has to write a UCAS Personal Statement as part of the UCAS process and this is quite often followed up by a University entrance interview. Many students will be able to relate their experiences gained on the field research programme and working alongside academics and this will be something that makes you stand out from other similarly qualified students. In the US, the college entry essay and college interviews are the main opportunities for students to express themselves beyond their high school transcript, test scores, and extracurricular activities. You may choose to reference your time on expedition to demonstrate your independence and global efficacy, while the unique opportunity to meet academics from universities around the world will also set you apart from other applicants.

61 Example research questions for IB, EPQ or CoPE
How do bird communities of Madagascar compare with those found on the African mainland? What is different about the Madagascar herpetofauna compared to the rest of Africa? How does the 2003 Dreamworks movie depiction of Madagascar wildlife differ from the real fauna? How can satellite images help conservation efforts in Madagascar? What are the main threats to Madagascar wildlife? Why are the tenrecs of Madagascar so unusual? There are a series of research questions that can be developed around the expedition – a few examples are listed. The Opwall Madagascar schools booklet has a complete listing of potential questions each with an initial starter reader list. The students can use these to draft an essay answering the question before they go out on expedition. They can then meet with academics with expertise in their study topic on site and use the information obtained to edit their essay.

62 The amount of money raised by schools for the expeditions varies enormously – some schools raise all the money needed including the costs of flights etc. However, a few are so wealthy they don’t want to raise anything!! Most schools are somewhere between these extremes, so you just need to decide what is a reasonable target to balance fundraising activities and studies. We will organise for a professional fundraiser to talk with the group by Skype or webinar (preferably with parents there as well) to help them with planning their fundraising. The fundraiser will give you loads of ideas in different categories that have been done successfully by other schools. Fundraising support

63 £1150 ($1850) for expedition costs
The cost for the expedition is £1150 or $1850 (US, Canada, Australia and China) and this includes nearly everything from your arrival in Mariarano and return from Nosy Be Island. The expedition costs included are all the food, accommodation, training courses,dive training, diving, £1 million medical and evacuation insurance cover, participation in the survey programme and medical cover. This also includes one teacher going free for each 8 students. In addition to this cost the groups have to arrange international flights to and from Antananarivo. We don’t package flights because it is much cheaper for the school to shop around and get the best deal with various travel agents or on line. Once we have your flights details then the Opwall travel section will organise all your in country travel to the start point and from the finish point of the expedition. For Madagascar this is approximately £450 for hotels, food on the transfers, transfers overland, boats, flights from Nosy Be to Antananarivo. The teacher will put together a total budget for the expedition to estimate all these costs (note this should have been done in advance of the presentation by the teacher so the total cost of the expedition and suggested payment schedule can be estimated and announced). In order to confirm an expedition the teacher leading the group needs to complete a booking form listing the names of each of the participants and they need to each pay a £150 ($250) deposit. Opwall will hold the expedition dates that you wanted for the estimated number of students for a month after this presentation date so you have time to form the group and collect the deposits. However, there are a lot of schools wanting to go so if you don’t need all the spaces we have reserved for you then please let us know before the end of the month so we can allocate them to other schools. If you don’t want to join the expedition then no worries – I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about Madagascar management issues. If you do decide to go though it will be an unforgettable experience and the chance to see remote forests and reefs in the company of expert scientists. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the data being collected by the group are being used in scientific publications and as a way of helping to manage the areas you will be surveying. £1150 ($1850) for expedition costs International flights and in-country travel

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