18 November 2020
The Hook-billed Vanga is the lankiest of the vangas. And with its bulky hooked bill, it's a serious predator that often goes after prey like medium-sized chameleons.
These updates have become increasingly infrequent as the pandemic wears on. But with cases surging in the US and Europe, it's a good time to update folks about what's happening in Madagascar. Basically, after a rapid and terrifying surge, the virus has receded for largely mysterious reasons. Active cases are down to a couple hundred in the whole country, and just a (literal) handful in the region where I live. I don't think this has happened because of an especially concerted or effective effort, as I frequently see photos of masses of unmasked people in major towns. It might be largely explained by the onset of the hotter weather of austral summer.
Madagascar is completely closed to the outside world again, with even repatriation flights stopped. This decision has likely been driven by fears of the huge new wave of cases in France. We're hoping for a vaccine but keenly aware that Madagascar will not be at the top of anyone's list of vaccine priorities.