Endangered Species Handbook

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Madagascar and other Islands

The Biological Wealth of an Impoverished Country

The Madagascar of today is still a remarkable place, although about 90 percent of the forests, including almost all lowland rainforests that were richest in wildlife, were destroyed (Mittermeier et al. 1999). Some 33 lemur species survive, along with all but one species of tenrec, various mongooses and their relatives, more chameleons than any other country, several hundred kinds of frogs and reptiles, and thousands of endemic invertebrates and plants. Madagascar has no native fish, but many introduced species. Its fauna and flora represent many extremely unusual and unique examples of evolution (Mittermeier et al. 1999). This island is considered one of the five most biologically important areas in the world; its primates are the world's highest priority for conservation (Mittermeier et al. 1999).

Forests and Plants
Reptiles and Amphibians

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