Mantella is a Belfast-based business founded by myself, Karl Hamilton. My journey began 19 years ago with a simple interest in wildlife and the natural world. This soon became a passion that saw me become a long-standing volunteer with various conservation organisations, and acquire academic experience in the form of an honours degree in Environmental Biology from the Queens University of Belfast.
I then embarked on full-time conservation and education work as Biodiversity Officer for a leading conservation organisation and BIAZA registered Zoo. This required an intimate working knowledge of many disciplines and involved tasks as varied as habitat management to aviculture, leading environmental events to mammal surveys.
Alongside conservation and education work, I have for 17 years also kept a wide range of animals from spiders to snakes, falcons to ferrets and regularly used these in educational talks and private birthday parties throughout Northern Ireland. Such animals are increasingly being kept as 'pet' animals (although all but a few make good pets similar to a dog or cat) and as a result, the hobby of keeping more unusual animals has exploded in recent years.
Many of these animals require specialist knowledge and precise conditions to thrive, and in order to provide best practice guidelines and a source of advice for the growing hobby, the Herpetological Society of Ireland was founded in May 2009. I am proud to have been a founding member and to help the HSI achieve its aims within Northern Ireland.
In 2010 an opportunity arose to combine my experience in conservation work, environmental education and working with animals....and so Mantella was born. Having formed during the hardships of the recession and subsequent period of austerity, Mantella is designed to be kind on your finances and provide a wide range of services that can be tailored your specific requests. No-one else can provide such a service within the Province.
The Mantella are a group of small, brightly-coloured frogs found only on the island of Madagascar. Today human pressures such as logging have forced them to the brink of extinction and they are critically endangered. What may the future hold for the Mantella frogs? Their best hope of survival for now is in the hands of private animal keepers and zoos who can together ensure healthy numbers exist in captivity. When suffcient natural habitat is re-created (or existing habitat can be protected from further harm) within Madagascar, it may then be possible to re-introduce these beautiful frogs back into the wild.
The story of the Mantella frogs brings together 3 important ingredients - specialist animal husbandry, conservation work and environmental education. All 3 ingredients are required to ensure these tiny gems (and their native habitat) survive into the future. Mantella uses these same 3 ingredients to help ensure the survival of our own natural heritage, and create a strong sense of environmental appreciation and stewardship. In this way, the Mantella frogs serve as the perfect mascot for our work.
It is our aim to bring you closer to nature than ever before! Please browse through our website and learn more about the wide range of services we offer.
Mantella Environmental Education