New Map Identifies Conservation Priorities in Madagascar
April 29, 2008 | From the field | MacArthur Fellows, Conservation & Sustainable Development

Two MacArthur Fellows have created a new map of conservation priorities in Madagascar, among the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspots and a focus of MacArthur’s conservation grantmaking. With funding from the Foundation, Patricia Wright of Stony Brook University Long Island, a 1989 Fellow, and Claire Kremen of the University of California, Berkeley, a 2007 Fellow, worked with a team of 20 international researchers to centralize and analyze data on more than 2300 species in the nation. For each species, the map identified their exact location, the range of their habitat, and then determined which regions were most vital for saving the greatest number of species. Eighty percent of the animals in Madagascar are unique to the island, and deforestation is a major threat to their survival. The project was covered in a recent issue of Science.