The Nosy Maitso Project - Volume One: Ranomafana

Long ago our ancestors looked out across Madagascar and called it "Nosy Maitso", the Green Island. Today the tropical rainforests of Madagascar are threatened by illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and climate change. The Nosy Maitso Project is a media-based environmental awareness campaign designed for use in rural Madagascar. The film explored local conservation issues and the beauty of Madagascar's unique wildlife. Click the video below to watch the full documentary, or explore the additional videos below.


Nosy Maitso is an award-winning nature film designed for Centre ValBio's education program. It is around 45 minutes long, is narrated in the native Malagasy language and has English subtitles.


In 2010 and 2011 the project was expanded to include additional education tools, interviews and short video-lessons. The completed DVD was distributed to rural communities around Ranomafana National Park, and today is still used by Centre ValBio education program and other conservation organizations around the world. In 2011 Nosy Maitso received several awards from the International Wildlife Film Festival in Montana. You can watch the 45-minute film by playing the video here. You can also explore some of the additional special features content from the DVD below. If you would like to order a copy of the film or arrange a screening event for Nosy Maitso, please contact us here.

 Nosy Maitso Educational Shorts

These short videos were added to the special features section of the Nosy Maitso DVD. They include brief lessons on subjects commonly taught by Centre ValBio's education team, including health and hygiene awareness, the development of reforestation programs and building a local tree nursery. 

Mr. Lucien and the agricultural technicians from the Kianja Maitso demonstration site in Ranomafana town, Madagascar, teach community members how to prepare seeds for a nursery.

Mr. Nemez introduces us to the native tree reforestation program of a local primary school that works with Centre ValBio, and the ways introduced pine trees can be used to avoid deforestation of native trees.

In this short video, Centre ValBio's Health and Hygiene Educator Madame Heri teaches local villagers about the importance of community health as part of the national TOMADY health education program. 

Here Mr. Richard introduces visitors to the new Education Center at Kianja Maitso and the tree nursery and environmental education demonstration site in Ranomafana town, Madagascar.

Nosy Maitso Research Interviews

These interviews were produced to provide local community members with a clearer picture of the types of conservation research being conducted at Centre ValBio. These videos try to explain how conservation research can help us get a better understanding of ecosystems and how we can protect wildlife.

American university student Tim Sefczek talks about his work on aye-aye research, and explains why the mysterious aye-ayes are such an important species for ecosystem conservation.

In this interview Sarah Zohdy talks about her research on the brown mouse lemur. Her studies focus on aging and can provide very interesting insights into senescence-related diseases in humans.

Andrea Baden discusses population genetics of the black-and-white ruffed lemur in this short interview, and discusses the importance of this sort of conservation research.


Nosy Maitso Wildlife ID Gallery

Know your Malagasy wildlife? If not, feel free to explore the Nosy Maitso Wildlife Identification gallery below to expand your knowledge. This feature was added to the Nosy Maitso DVD as a training tool for MNP/ANGAP rangers and prospective eco-guides in 2010. Its also a fun game to play in school and a great way to get students excited about the incredible wildlife of Madagascar. Study the wildlife featured in the gallery below. When you are ready, play the Nosy Maitso Wildlife Identification Activity video to the right, and see if you can ID the species before their names appear. Flashcards and PowerPoint versions of this activity will soon be available for downloaded via our resources page.

Play this Wildlife ID Activity video after studying the ID gallery below and assuring you know all the species at a glance. When you are ready press play, and see if you can ID the animal before the name appears.



Madagascar is home to over 240 species of extant mammal. As a result of a IUCN's recent reassessment of lemur diversity, there are now 62 Endangered and 22 Critically Endangered mammal species on the isolated island. According to WWF, around 92% of the island's mammal species are found nowhere else in the world. All of the species in this gallery are endemic to Madagascar.


The amphibians of Madagascar are vastly understudied, and every year many more species are discovered. As a result of habitat loss and the spread of a deadly fungus, many of Madagascar's amphibians may vanish before they can ever be found.


The reptile species of Madagascar are highly endemic, with approximately 95% existing nowhere else in the world. All of the reptiles in this gallery are endemic to Madagascar.


Over 300 species of bird have been recorded from the island with about 60% being endemic to Madagascar. Here are a few found in the area around Ranomafana National Park. Of these birds only the Pied Crow and Olive Bee Eater are found in other regions of Africa.


If you want to find a new species just look under a rock somewhere on the island of Madagascar. Chances are you'll find one or two never-before seen insect species.The island is home to an immeasurable diversity of invertebrate life, most of which remains unknown to science. Some of the critters in these pictures have been identified but many are unidentified or unknown. If you recognize one please contact us and let us know!