Helsinki got new exotic residents in July, when five tiny, bright orange hoppers moved to Korkeasaari Zoo. The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) has been cooperating with Korkeasaari Zoo since 2016 to save the critically endagered Golden Mantella, endemic to Madagascar, from extinction. Now the species can be seen for the first time also in Finland.
FANC, together with its local partner organization Mitsinjo, is continuously working to protect the last natural habitats of Golden Mantella in Madagascar. However, due the habitat loss it is important to secure the future of the species also through captive breeding and reintroduction programmes implemented by Korkeasaari Zoo.
The arrival of Golden Mantellas from Latvian Zoo to Finnish Korkeasaari Zoo was widely noticed by Finnish media which gave highly needed attention for the unique species and its critical state.
After several news in Finnish newspapers the project coordinator and the volunteers of the Finnish Associtation for Nature Conservation wanted to promote the public awareness even more. Information about Golden Mantella and its conservation in Madagascar was shared on two different days in September to the visitors of Korkeasaari Zoo.
Certainly, the audience was most interested to see Golden Mantellas live but also photo exhibition gathered a lot of zoo visitors. Beautiful photos presented Madagascan wildlife, local people and their participation in the project. Also, Madagascan handicrafts were sold and donations collected.
If you want to get to know this incredible species visit the Korkeasaari Zoo or check the project website (in Finnish only).
Text: Laura Blomberg, volunteer, FANC
Pictures: Mari Lehmonen, Korkeasaari and Tarja Anttila, volunteer, FANC