Madagascar: Home To These Creatures You Never Thought Existed

Posted by johnstocks on January 9th, 2019


Many animal species, with unique behaviours, abound on this planet, earth. This post will briefly discuss 2 of such unique animal species, one living and the other extinct, that are native to the island of Madagascar. But before we get to that, let's take a perfunctory look at the country called Madagascar.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, with capital and largest city in Antananarivo. The Island is located on the western side of the Indian ocean, or from a different perspective, it is located off the coast, on the southeastern side of the African continent. The island is separated from Mozambique by the Mozambique Channel, the shortest distance between the island and Mozambique. 

The 2017 population count puts the population of the island at 25.57 million. French and Malagasy are both official languages of the Republic of Madagascar. 

Madagascar, unfortunately, is known to be one of the poorest countries in Africa with 90% of the population living under per day. 

The Island Comprises rainforest, beaches, and reefs, and is home to many animals species, including the lemurs, that may not be found anywhere in the world. Two of this species will now be discussed 

Let begin with the living species, the Madagascar Pochard.


The Madagascar Pochard

This is the rarest bird species in the world. This bird species was believed to have gone extinct when it wasn’t seen in 15 years. Fortunately, the small group of birds, about 25, were discovered on a remote part of the island of Madagascar. These are, according to researchers, the last 25 birds of this species on earth. 

This duck species are said to be on the brink of extinction due to, for example, sedimentation, invasive species, pollution, poor agricultural practices just to mention these few. 

Fortunately, Conservationists are working tirelessly to protect the remain species. Relatively recently, 21 species of the birds have been released into a lake in the north of Madagascar, which is quite comforting news. 

The next animal on our list of discussion is another type of bird that is said to have gone extinct.

 Elephant Bird

This is the largest but extinct bird known to man. The bird, measuring about 10 feet tall, is said to be flightless and nocturnal--almost blind and is also said to prefer the forest environment. The most distant relative of the bird species is the kiwi bird, a chicken-sized inhabitant of New Zealand. The Kiwi species is also said to have a nocturnal lifestyle (practically blind). This living relative is serving as a proxy for scientists to use to better understand the behavior of the elephant bird.

Unfortunately, this marvel of nature, the elephant bird,  is said to have gone extinct about 500 to 1000 years ago due to human influence, via hunting of the birds, and their potential habitat loss. 

But why are these birds so unique to this island, one might wonder? 


Well, the reasons are not so far-fetched as scientists have deduced that the general isolation of an island is responsible for the uniqueness of many of these native islands animal species. 

And this does make sense because if there is no form of migration or interaction between two or more distinct locations then everything is bound to be restricted, including animal diversity.


About the Author

Joined: August 10th, 2018
Articles Posted: 38

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