Endangered Species Handbook

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Madagascar and other Islands

The Biological Wealth of an Impoverished Country: Mammals

Home to some of the world's most fascinating, beautiful and curious mammals, Madagascar has approximately 117 native species, 90 percent of which exist nowhere else (Garbutt 1999). Excluding bats, all 88 native terrestrial mammals are endemic to Madagascar. Three-fourths of native mammals, or 66 species, are threatened with extinction; 49 of these are in higher categories of threat listed in the 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This represents 42 percent of all mammals found in Madagascar, by far the greatest percentage of threatened mammals of any country in the world (Hilton-Taylor 2000). As new species of mammals continue to be discovered, the numbers that are threatened continues to rise. A few have not been seen in the wild since their discovery. The majority is made of forest-dwellers, and a few inhabit marshy areas or woodland streams. The loss of forest, predation on them by Malagasy and domestic dogs, and introduction of exotic species of mammals that out-compete native species are combining to push many of the island's mammals toward extinction.

Page 1 (Tenrecs)
Page 2 (Lemurs and Aye-ayes)
Page 3 (Bats)
Page 4 (Viverrids)
Page 5 (Rodents)

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