Endangered Species in Madagascar

April 16, 2009

According to my knowledge, it is commonly known that global warming has been leading to higher extinction rates among various types of species. According to the April 13th, 2009 addition of Times Magazine, there are at least 8 million unique species on our planet.

One of these species includes the Madagascar Pink Bug, which is, I must say, a quite beautiful insect. Another species in Madagascar is the Golden Mantella Frog (critically endangered and highly affected by climate change). Another one is the Red-Knob Sea Star, which is found throughout the Indian Ocean – it grows to about one foot! About 70% of the animal species in Madagascar are endemic, meaning that they are found only in Madagascar.

More specifically, on the topic of climate change leading to endangered species, Madagascar is very sensitive to climate change. If the species in Madagascar become extinct, then they are gone forever. A 2008 assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature found that 1 in 4 mammals are up for extinction.

We too are mammals, depending on a multitude of other species on earth.

Once a robust forest, Madagascar had most of its vegetation cut down or burnt since humans arrived 1,500 years ago. These fragmented habitats had led to the start of endangered species. There has been an attempt to provide protective corridors that would give animals free will to roam.

So what is being done or has been done on the issue of endangered species in Madagascar? In 2003, President Marc Ravalomanana announced that the government would triple the protected areas over the following five years. This was a key decision that helped underfunded parks, such as Andasibe’s, protect untouched forests from the islands. So, by decreasing the severity of climate change and protecting key areas in Madagascar, we could shape an earth that would be biologically conserved.

We may be the cause of endangered species in Madagascar, but we are also the solution.

Source: April 13th, 2009 addition of Times Magazine

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3 Responses to “Endangered Species in Madagascar”

  1. Notelrac said

    How has last month’s coup by mayor Andry Rajoelina overturning the rule of former President Marc Ravalomanana impacted the topic you are blogging about? Was the former government’s agreement to sell half of the arable cropland to multinational corporations for ethanol production going to help or hurt the environment?

    • thebeerphilosopher said

      Ethanol crop production neither helps the environment nor hurts it more than it is being hurt. Ethanol emissions are no more environmentally friendly than gasoline emissions, and if the crops were being shipped overseas for processing (I don’t think Madagascar has any ethanol processing plants), then the transportation of the crops only adds to the carbon footprint of the multinational corporation without reducing the footprint of the consumers who buy the fuel.

  2. thresholdlurker said

    I have to wonder how much good this will actually do. If the problem for many of these animals is climate rather than habitat. For the climate-impacted species, they’re probably screwed either way since it doesn’t matter where they live and even if we could quickly halt our impact on climate change, it’ll likely be too slow to help. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try, we absolutely should, I’m just saying that setting aside more land on which these animals still can’t survive isn’t the answer.

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