NMU biology professor Neil Cumberlidge took part in a week-long international workshop in Antanananrivo, Madagascar, aimed at improving the conservation of the country’s unique but highly threatened freshwater biodiversity.
The July workshop attendees consisted of more than 20 specialists on freshwater organisms (crustaceans, mollusks, dragonflies, fish and plants) from Madagascar, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain and the United States. Cumberlidge led the freshwater crustacean group that used International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN's) Red List assessments to quantify the number of species of Madagascan freshwater crabs, crayfish and freshwater shrimp that are threatened with extinction. This workshop was part of a project aimed at using these Red List assessments to help identify and establish Key Biodiversity Areas specifically designed for! the conservation of freshwater animals and plants throughout the island.
The workshop was organized by the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit of the IUCN’s Global Species Programme based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom and was funded by a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. Cumberlidge is founder and chair of the IUCN’s Freshwater Crustacean Specialist Group and has been actively involved in the conservation of freshwater crustaceans worldwide for more than a decade.