Oxford Long-Term Ecology Lab

Long-Term Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Technologies

Herizo completed his DPhil (PhD) in 2017 at the Oxford Long Term Ecology Lab (OxLEL) Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. To our knowledge, Herizo is the first Malagasy person to be awarded a doctorate degree at the University of Oxford in its history. He gained a Forestry degree in 2000 and a DEA (MSc) on Ecology and Development in 2009 from the Department of Forestry, University of Antananarivo Madagascar. He also obtained  a Postgraduate Diploma in international wildlife conservation practice from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford in 2009. In 2014 he won the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, presented by HRH Prince William, for his conservation work in his homeland of Madagascar.

Herizo is a conservation practitioner with interests in ecological monitoring and GIS. He devotes most of his time to designing methods of participatory ecological monitoring and identifying the best ways to achieve conservation success in developing countries such as Madagascar. For the last 17 years he has worked for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust Madagascar Programme as the coordinator of ecological monitoring and protected areas. He is particularly dedicated to maximising the potential of local communities and stakeholders for conservation and monitoring towards better management of natural resources.

He has been instrumental in establishing a system of ecological protection in Madagascar, by providing technical support for the implementation of 5 out of 125 officially designated Protected Areas and the creation of 3 Ramsar sites. By training 460 local patrollers in the weekly collection of data on biodiversity and threats  he has also made a substantial contribution to the adoption of participatory ecological monitoring techniques.

Herizo’s passionate devotion to the community-based conservation approach has achieved remarkable results. His main concern is how to develop cost effective conservation programmes by integrating the community in efficient decision making. He is also interested in exploring the effective contribution that local community members can make to protect ecosystem services by sustaining financially motivating social enterprises which could reduce poverty.

Current research

In his DPhil, under the supervision of Prof Kathy Willis, Dr Peter Long and Dr Richard Young, Herizo looked at the effectiveness of community-based conservation projects in conserving biodiversity, protecting ecosystem services and improving human wellbeing in Madagascar. Using remote sensing techniques with satellite data from 1984 to 2014, village questionnaires (developed with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Department of International Development, University of Oxford), and household surveys (based on 6,540 households within 214 villages in 5 key conservation sites), Herizo investigated whether the community-based conservation projects implemented by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust Madagascar programme have improved the conservation of biodiversity and protection of provisioning ecosystem services, and enhanced people’s wellbeing.

He evaluated important response variables such as Multidimensional Poverty Index along with some subjective wellbeing indicators (happiness, trust and empowerment), government records on school attendance, school attainment, health records, and DMSP OLS night lights to understand impacts of community-based conservation projects on human wellbeing. He has used more than 2,000 Landsat images to understand forest loss, land cover change, suitable habitat for key species, habitat fragmentation and invasive plants. He also used AVHRR and MODIS data to measure the rate of change of active fires and the quantity of AGB, NPP forest, NPP croplands etc in each village.

Herizo’s DPhil is available in the public domain through the URL: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:57dddf76-2915-4c48-8d70-e48a81a1e517

International Awards

2014: Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa (presented by HRH Prince William)

2006: Ramsar Crane Bank Award (from the Ramsar Convention Secretariat)

Learned societies

– British Ecological Society

– Ecological Society of America

– Society for Conservation Biology


– Sept 2014 to present: National representative for the Participatory Monitoring and Management Partnership (PMMP) network, Madagascar

– June 2010 to present: National co-representative for WWN (World Wetlands Network), Madagascar

– Feb 2011- March 2016: Member of the national advisory committee for the P4GS Project (Can Paying 4 Ecosystem Services Reduce Poverty?) funded by NERC in Madagascar

Selected Publications

Hudson M., Andrianandrasana T.H., Lewis R., Gerrie R. and Concannon L. (2018) Unprecedented rates of deforestation in Menabe Antimena: Can we halt this catastrophic damage? Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. www.durrell.org

GOFC-GOLD (2017) A Sourcebook of Methods and Procedures for Monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables in Tropical Forests with Remote Sensing. Eds: GOFC-GOLD & GEO BON. Report version UNCBD COP-13, GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Project Office, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. ISSN: 2542-6729. http://www.gofcgold.wur.nl/sites/gofcgold-geobon_biodiversitysourcebook.php

Waeber, PO, Ratsimbazafy JH, Andrianandrasana HT, Ralainasolo, FB, & Nievergelt, CM (2018). Hapalemur alaotrensis, a conservation case study from the swamps of Alaotra, Madagascar. In: Primates in Flooded Habitats; Ecology and Conservation – some general information. Barnett AA, Matsuda, I, & Nowak, K (eds). (in press)

Zinner,D., Wygoda,C., Razafimanantsoa,L., Rasoloarison,R., Andrianandrasana,HT., Ganzhorn,J.U. & Toler, F. (2014) Analysis of deforestation patterns in the central Menabe, Madagascar, between 1973 and 2010. Regional Environmental Change 14: 157–166

Ratsimbazafy JH, Ralainasolo FB, Rendings A, Contreras JM, Andrianandrasana TH, Mandimbihasina AR, Nievergelt CM, Lewis R, & Waeber PO (2013). Gone in a puff of smoke? Hapalemur alaotrensis at a great risk of extinction. Lemur News 17.

Danielsen F, Jensen PM, Burgess N, Holt S, Andrianandrasana TH, Sam R, Brashares J, Burton AC, Rueda R, Corpuz N, Massao J, Young R, Lewis R, Sørensen M, Poulsen MK, Alviola F, Funder M, Skielboe T, Fjeldså J, Hübertz H, Enghoff M, Topp-Jørgensen, Elmer J, Ngaga YM, Jensen A, Indiana C (2014). Who needs a degree? A comparison of trends in tropical resources measured by villagers and scientists. BioScience 64,3, 236-251.

Danielsen F, Skutsch M, Burgess ND, Jensen PM, Andrianandrasana TH, Karky B, Lewis R, Lovett JC, Massao J, Ngaga Y, Phartiyal P, Poulsen MK, Singh SP, Solis S, Sørensen M, Tewari A, Young R & Zahabu E (2010) At the heart of REDD+: a role for local people in monitoring forests? Conservation Letters 4-2, 158-167. doi 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00159.x

Andrianandrasana HT, Randriamahefasoa J, Durbin J, Lewis RE, & Ratsimbazafy JH (2005) Participatory ecological monitoring of the Alaotra wetlands in Madagascar. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 2757-2774. doi 10.1007/s10531-005-8413-y

Andrianandrasana HT (2001) Ecological study of the rarest tortoise Geochelone yniphora (Vaillant, 1885) in Baly Bay Soalala Madagascar. Dodo 36, 92.

Danielsen F, Burgess ND, Balmford A, Fjeldså J, Andrianandrasana TH, Becker CD, Bennun L, Brashares JS, Jones JPG, Stuart-Hill G, Topp-Jorgensen E, Townsend WR, Uychiaoco AJ, Whitten T and Yonten D (2006) Monitoring matters: evaluating locally-based biodiversity monitoring in developing countries. Oryx 40: 12-17.

Copsey AJ, Jones JPG, Andrianandrasana TH, Rajaonarison LH & Fa JE (2009) Burning to fish: local explanations for wetland burning in Lac Alaotra, Madagascar. Oryx 43, 403-406. doi:10.1017/S0030605308000525

Selected presentations

– Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual meeting, New Orleans, United States 5-10 Aug 2018

‘Retrospectively evaluating the social and biodiversity impacts of community-based conservation projects in Madagascar’

– State of the World’s Plants, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, London United Kingdom 25-26 May 2017

‘Evaluating the social and biodiversity impacts of community-based conservation projects in Madagascar’

– Anglo-Malagasy Society annual meeting, London United Kingdom 22 May 2016

‘Conserving biodiversity for people and wildlife in Madagascar’

– British Ecological Society (BES), Edinburgh, United Kingdom 12-16 December 2015

‘Evaluating the impacts of community based in reducing human pressures and improving human wellbeing in Madagascar’

– International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB)/Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) annual meeting, Montpellier France, 2-6 August 2015

‘Evaluating the social and biodiversity impacts of community-based conservation in Madagascar’

– Participatory Ecological Monitoring for Biodiversity and Management Partnership (PMMP) Manaus, Brazil, 22-26 Sept 2014

‘Participatory ecological monitoring and enforcement in Madagascar – State of the art’

– REDD+, expectations and experiences, Foreign Ministry, Copenhagen, Denmark, Sept 2011

‘Effectiveness of REDD+ monitoring in Madagascar’

– British Ecological Society (BES) Annual meeting, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, Sept 2010

‘To what extent can we rely on village patrol data? The case of the Menabe dry forest protected area of Madagascar?’

– Monitoring Matters (MOMA), University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct 2008

‘Community based ecological monitoring in Madagascar’

– Student Conference in Conservation Science (SCCS), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Mar 2008

‘Cost-effectiveness, strengths and weaknesses of a participatory approach to ecological monitoring in Madagascar’

– Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Annual meeting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, July 2007

‘Participatory Ecological monitoring in Madagascar, the case of Menabe dry forest and Alaotra wetlands’

– Student Conference in Conservation Science (SCCS), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Mar 2005

‘Four years of experiences in participatory ecological monitoring in Madagascar. The case of Lac Alaotra’

– Monitoring Matters (MOMA), NORDECO, Copenhagen, Denmark Apr 2004

‘Participatory ecological monitoring of Alaotra wetlands in Madagascar’