Andavadoaka, Madagascar Slideshow
In the Andavadoaka region of Madagascar’s southwest coast, the Vezo people have subsisted on the bounty of the Toliar Barrier Reef for centuries. But the lobsters, finfish, octopus, and coastal dolphins they depend on are growing scarce. WCS conservationists are working to establish marine fishery reserves to ensure this fragile seascape and the traditional livelihoods it supports remain intact.
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS
Pirogue fishing boat Photo
In the waters just south of the Mozambique Channel that borders much of Madagascar’s west coast, traditional Vezo fishermen ply their trade from simple hand-carved wooden canoes, called "pirogues."
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS
Fishing in Mozambique Channel Photo
A fisherman swims a nets around a school of fish. Small-mesh fishing nets like this one can result in high levels of bycatch. WCS is working to promote more sustainable fishing gear.
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS
Toliar Barrier Reef Fish and Coral Photo
Most of the fishing activity takes place within the nearest reaches of one of the world’s largest barrier reef systems, the Toliar Barrier Reef, since the pirogues cannot travel far. These reefs are among the most biodiverse in the Western Indian Ocean.
©Caleb McClennen/WCS
Vezo fishing boy with catch Photo
A boy watches over the village catch as it dries in the sun. Overfishing in the region has devastated fish populations, with serious consequences for the reef systems and for the Vezo tribe.
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS
Starfish in Toliar Barrier Reef Photo
In addition to overfishing and destructive fishing practices, land pollution and the harmful effects of climate change can also have serious consequences for fragile coral reef ecosystems.
©Caleb McClennen/WCS
Ben Mahafalay Madagascar Marine Photo
WCS conservationist Bemahafaly Randriamanantsoa (center) monitors fishing activity to ensure catches meet size requirements. WCS has been helping the reef’s depleted fish stocks recover by establishing marine reserves that are subject to temporary closures.
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS
Shark finning Photo
In addition to fishing, the Vezo people also hunt coastal dolphins and sharks in local waters. A growing global market for shark fins is depleting shark populations around the world.
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS
Madagascar Photo
Though the Vezo people have had very limited economic opportunities, tourists are beginning to visit new resorts in the area. WCS is working to ensure the tourism industry grows sustainably and with respect for this spectacular seascape.
Julie Larsen Maher©WCS

Lesser Long-nosed Bat ©Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International

Spectacular Migrations

A Trip to the Southern Tip of the World

Sailing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, WCS staff encounter rare albatrosses, penguins, seals & more. While humans may shy away from this lonely, windswept place, wildlife populations clearly do not.

Tiger Camera Trap ©WCS

Wildlife Crimes Unit

Tigers are fast disappearing in the wild, due in large part to increasing illegal wildlife trade across Asia.  Our Wildlife Crimes Unit is working to support the arrest and prosecution of poachers and wildlife traders so that we can ensure a future for these cats in some of their last strongholds. Take a look at what WCS conservationists working throughout tiger territory have come across in their surveys and patrols.

lion Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Life on the Savannah

At 1483 square miles, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest park, shelters a huge variety of savannah wildlife. But life for its lions, hyenas, and other large carnivores isn’t easy.

Hunter's Hartebeest © WCS

Rarest of the Rare

Dubbed the "Rarest of the Rare," the following animals are the most in danger of extinction. From tiny frogs to great apes, the dozen species are described in the 2010-2011 edition of "State of the Wild: a Global Portrait."

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