Improving livelihood and wildlife conservation through Newcastle disease vaccination in villages near Betampona Natural Reserve

The goal of this project is to improve rural livelihood and reduce reliance on wild animals for meat consumption in villages neighboring protected areas.

An important vulnerability associated with poultry farming in rural Madagascar is the array of
pathogens to which the species is susceptible including Newcastle disease, causing outbreaks
with mortality rates above 70% in unvaccinated flocks.
In 2018, Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group initiated a project providing free vaccinations
against Newcastle disease for chickens in 12 villages around the Betampona Natural Reserve
(covering almost 700 households). The goal of this project has been to protect poultry from this
devastating pathogen and improve availability of protein in family diets as well villagers’
livelihoods, thereby reducing the pressure on wild animals in the forest. Throughout the project, Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group and Mahaliana Labs collected
demographic data from each participating household which allowed us to measure
and show the positive impact of this project on chicken ownership and human livelihoods. In
fact, participating households owned on average 12.4 more chicken and reported a 55%
decrease in chicken losses due to ND than they did before the beginning of the project which
surpassed the initial objective of this program.

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