Conservation Lectures

Preserving and Protecting Madagascar Biodiversity

Thursday, July 19 at 7:00 pm

The Children's Museum of The Upstate, 300 College Street, Greenville (Use side entrance off Academy Street)

Special Guest Speaker: Virginia Rodriguez Ponga, DVM, MFG Program Director

Dr. Ponga will discuss how the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG) works with the Malagasy government to conserve the country’s rich biodiversity. Attendees will learn about lemurs, which the country is best known for, as well as other unique species and how local communities are working with MFG to protect them and their habitat.

If possible, pre-register at

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About the Speaker

Virginia Rodriguez Ponga graduated from Madrid’s veterinary school in 1998 and went on to practice small animal medicine at its veterinary teaching hospital. 

In 2007, Virginia became the volunteer Great Ape and Human Health Coordinator of the Mikongo Conservation Center in Lope National Park, Gabon, permanently changing the direction of her professional career to wildlife conservation. 

In 2009, she spent eight months in a highly unstable area of the Democratic Republic of Congo working as a veterinarian in the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center, near the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. 

In 2010, she moved to Congo Brazzaville, where she spent four years rehabilitating and reintroducing western lowland gorillas as the veterinarian and administrator of the Gorilla Protection Project in the Lesio-Louna Gorilla Natural Reserve. 

Since 2014, and until she took over as MFG’s Program Director in Madagascar in April 2017, she served as director of the Deng Deng National Park’s Technical Assistance Project for the Cameroon Ministry of Environment, based in the Cameroonian East Region with a special focus on great ape protection.

Over the past 11 years, Virginia has acquired a range of field, education, capacity building, community development, management and administrative experiences that are now being used to conserve Malagasy’s biodiversity.