Visit to Madagascar Biodiversity Centre
Prof. Alan Gardiner, Head of the Applied Learning Unit at SAWC, was recently in Madagascar. He was hosted by the Madagascar Biodiversity Centre in Antananarivo, which is the development of Dr Brian Fisher (Curator of Entomology and Patterson Scholar at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA). The centre has started a cricket breeding facility, which is working on producing protein for human consumption. At the moment 100kg per week is being produced but they are looking to see if it is feasible to do 1 tonne a week. The centre has a well-planned and comfortable office, laboratory and limited accommodation facility in Antananarivo.
From Antananarivo Prof. Gardiner flew to Sambava and then on to Marojejy National Park where the team collected various insect groups in order to help document the fauna of the Park. This interestingly led to many new species being discovered during the 10-day expedition into the mountains of the Park making the visit really worthwhile.