Angelo Ramy Mandimbihasina





My love for animals can been seen from when I was very young, from about 7 or eight years old. I used to play with cats, dogs and tortoises in people’s backyards.  My favourite pastime was to play with my dad’s pet radiated tortoise, back in 1986, as it did not express any discomfort when I either played with him or sat on his back while he walked the yard.  From then on I was attached to the tortoise.  

Later, in the beginning of this century when I started my conservation science lessons, I was astonished by the fact that tortoises are the most affected by poaching as they cannot not run away.


Poaching is affecting natural populations, driving them into the brink of extinction.  I am interested in studying the effects of poaching on a critically endangered species.  I am interested in studying population dynamics and trends as well as the genetic components of these critically endangered species affected by poaching.  However, life of a species depends on other species and factors that create the habitat.  Now I am very interested in the equilibrium between species vs. habitat and other factors.  The human-species relationship and conflict is a good point to start such research.

My research involves following the different effects of poaching on a very threatened species of Malagasy tortoise, the ploughshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora.  Despite the high demand on the international pet trade and black market, wild populations are declining and exposed to a big risk of going extinct.  To escape from the threat of extinction, it is crucial to know the decline rate, its effect on the gene pool and inbreeding; also we should predict when the population will go extinct in order to find alternate solution for its conservation.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Mandimbihasina, A., Woolaver, L., Concannon, L., Milner-Gulland, E., Lewis, R., Terry, A., . . . Young, R. (n.d.). The illegal pet trade is driving Madagascar's ploughshare tortoise to extinctionOryx, 1-9. doi:10.1017/S0030605317001880

Walker R., R. Lewis, A. Mandimbihasina, E. Goode, P.Gibbons, A. Currylow, and L. Woolaver (2015) The conservation of the world’s most threatened tortoise: the ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) of Madagascar. In Testudo, Vol. 8, No.3 2 p: 3-1

Currylow A., A. D. Walde, F. Filazaha, A. Mandimbihasina, and L. Woolaver (2015) Ploughshare Tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) natural entrapment. Herpetology Notes, volume 8: 485-487 (2015) (published online on 03 October 2015).

Mandimbihasina, A.R. & A.F.T. Currylow, (2014). New data on the naturally-occurring maximum sizes attained by Ploughshare Tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora). Herpetology Notes 7: 685-688.

Mandimbihasina, A. & L. Woolaver, (2014). The Ploughshare tortoise Astrochelys yniphora. In: Tortoises of the Indian Ocean (ed. Gerlach, J.). Siri Scientific Press, UK, pp. 277-296

Kiester R., A.R. Mandimbihasina, R.E. Lewis, E. V. Goode, J. O. Juvik, R. P. Young, R. & T. Blanck. (2013). Conservation of the angonoka (ploughshare tortoise) Astrochelys yniphora. Chelonian Research Monographs 6. doi 10.33854/crm.6.a26p162.

Ratsimbazafy J. H., F. B. Ralainasolo, A. Rendigs2, J.M. Contreras, H. Andrianandrasana, A. R. Mandimbihasina, C. M.  Nievergelt,  R. Lewis,  P. O. Waeber. (2013) Gone in a puff of smoke? Hapalemur alaotrensis at great risk of extinction; In Lemur News, Vol. 17:14-18.

Angelo R. Mandimbihasina, S. E. Engberg, G. D. Shore, E. Razafimahatratra, H. Tiandray, R. E. Lewis, R. A. Brenneman, E. E. Louis Jr. (2009) Characterization of 20 microsatellite markers in the plowshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora. In Conservation Genetics 10: 1085–1088.

  • At the TFTSG (IUCN/SCC Tortoise Specialists Group) in St Louis on August 2008: Conservation Genetics of the Ploughshare Tortoise
  • At the International Training Centre of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Jersey) on September 2008: Conservation Genetics of the Ploughshare Tortoise
  • At the SCCS (Student Conference on Conservation Sciences) on March 2011: Conservation status and needs of the world’s most threatened tortoise.
  • At the CAER - University of Reading (during training) on April 2011: Conservation status and needs of the world’s most threatened tortoise.