Bangor University students organise a fund-raising event celebrating the biodiversity and culture of Madagascar

Have you ever wanted a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with Madagascar’s incredible lemurs? Have you ever wondered what Malagasy food is like? Have you been inspired by nature documentaries to do something to support conservation of Madagascar’s unique wildlife? On the 27th April, a special event at the National Zoo of Wales in Colwyn Bay, organised by staff and students from Bangor University, will give you the chance to do all three.

The event is to raise money to support the conservation work of the Malagasy charity Madagasikara Voakajy who work with communities to tackle bushmeat hunting and deforestation in the Mangabe forest (a newly designated protected area). Bangor University has a well-established link with Madagasikara Voakajy. Staff from this small but effective charity have received specialist training in the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography and staff and students from the University have worked closely with them in the field in Madagascar.

As well as a chance to meet the lemur group resident at the zoo, the evening will include a Malagasy meal, music and dancing as well as presentations by: Dr Julia Jones (Senior lecturer in conservation at Bangor University) and Voahirana Randriamamonjy (a staff member of Madagasikara Voakajy and a current master’s student at Bangor University). Voahirana says ‘I am really excited about the opportunity to introduce people in Wales to some of my country’s biodiversity and culture while raising money for this really good cause. A little money goes a long way in Madagascar so what we raise will make a big difference.’

All money raised will be match funded through the charity Size of Wales who are exceeding their target of conserving an area of rainforest the size of Wales. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £8 for concessions. Ticket price includes entrance to the zoo, food and entertainment. Tickets can purchased from Welsh Mountain Zoo or by contacting Jennifer McDonald <jen@welshmountainzoo.org or Julia Jones julia.jones@bangor.ac.uk

Publication date: 12 April 2013