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News articles on madagascar
Mongabay.com news articles on madagascar in blog format. Updated regularly.
(07/18/2006) Two-wheeled ox carts and decades-old Renaults choke the cobbled streets of Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital, reminders of how slowly the country has advanced since independence in 1960. Now the government is auctioning oil drilling rights to improve the lives of its 18 million citizens.
Rare indri lemur born in forest reserve in Madagascar
(07/13/2006) A rare lemur known for its haunting whale-like call has given birth in a reserve outside its native forest. The news is significant because the Indri, as the world's largest living lemur is known, has traditionally done poorly when kept in captivity or introduced to outside its montane forest in Madagascar. The birth occurred at Palmarium, a small private reserve of lowland tropical forest established by a tour operator in Madagascar, and provides further hope for the successful conservation of the endangered species.
Africa's deforestation rate may be underestimated
(06/22/2006) Africa's deforestation rate may be underestimated by satellite imagery according to a researcher at the University of Wisconsin. Holly Gibbs, a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at the University of Wisconsin, presented her findings at a conservation conference held in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.
Madagascar's reefs escape damage from global warming
(06/22/2006) A survey of coral along Madagascar's northeast coast suggests that they island's reef may have so far escaped the damaging effects of warmer ocean temperatures attributed to global climate change. Researchers from conservation International (CI), a leading conservation group, found that the region's coral reefs have avoided the bleaching that has affected other Indian Ocean reefs. The scientists believe that cool water currents from adjacent deep ocean areas have helped offset the warming effects of climate change.
3 new lemurs named in Madagascar
(06/21/2006) To recognize an internationally renowned primatologist and champion of Madagascar's unique biodiversity, scientists who discovered three new species of mouse lemur on the island nation have named one in honor of Russell A. Mittermeier, the president of conservation International.
Why does Madagascar have so many unique animals?
(05/24/2006) Scientists have developed the first comprehensive theory to explain Madagascar's rich biodiversity. Madagascar, larger than California and about size the size of Texas or France, is the world's fourth largest island. Isolated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern Africa, about 70% of the estimated 250,000 species found on the island exist nowhere else on the globe. The island is home to such evolutionary oddities as lemurs, a group of primates endemic to the island; brilliantly colored lizards including geckos and chameleons; tenrecs, spiny hedgehog-like creatures; and the fossa, a carnivorous animal that looks like a cross between a puma and a dog but is closely related to the mongoose.
Madagascar establishes new park system to protect lemurs, benefit people
(01/17/2006) Madagascar has created a new agency for managing the parks of the Indian Ocean island nation. The System of Protected Areas of Madagascar, or SAPM, simplifies the legal process used to create a protected areas, while providing for flexibility for local people to earn a living from conservation activities.
Lemur land, Madagascar now protected
(01/08/2006) With the official establishment of the Makira Protected Area last week, the government of Madagascar has brought the total area of land and marine zones under protection to one million hectares.
1 million ha protected in Madagascar
(01/06/2006) The government of Madagascar has scored a significant victory for conservation by bringing one million hectares (more than 3,800 square miles) of wild landscapes and seascapes under protection to conserve the island nation's unique fauna and flora, according to the Wildlife conservation Society (WCS).
Madagascar faces food shortage in the southeast
(11/20/2005) With up to 18,000 children in Madagascar's south-eastern region showing signs of acute malnutrition, United Nations agencies are supporting Government-initiated emergency food and medical assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press release last week.
Humans hunted giant lemurs to extinction
(11/14/2005) Madagascar's first inhabitants probably hunted the island's largest animals to extinction according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.
Rain key to survival of baby lemurs
(11/14/2005) Researchers studying lemurs in Madagascar have discovered a link between tooth deterioration and rainfall amounts that suggests long-lived mammals may be particularly sensitive to changing environmental conditions--and that reproduction and infant survival is linked to tooth wear.
Lemur species named after British comedian
(11/12/2005) Researchers from the University of Zurich have named a newly discovered species of lemur after British comedian John Cleese in honor of his work with the primates from Madagascar.
Madagascar educational resource launched
(10/15/2005) WildMadagascar.org, a leading information site on Madagascar, today announced the availability of educational materials to help students learn about the island of Madagascar.
Madagascar announces oil discovery; island nation to start producing crude in 3-4 years
(09/30/2005) Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, announced the discovery of several oil blocks on land and offshore. The Indian island nation expects to start producing crude oil for the first time within the next 3-4 years, according to a report from Reuters.
First megatransect of Madagascar completed
(09/27/2005) Late last year an international team completed the first known transect of the island of Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island. The eight-month-long journey, dubbed "Hike Madagascar," took the group of intrepid hikers from the southern tip of Madagascar to the northernmost point of the island. The transect targeted rural communities along the eastern forest corridor, surveying villages and providing local farmers with techniques for improving rice yields and putting more food on the table for their families. The hike also provided a glimpse into some of the socioeconomic and environmental issues facing the island nation, which is one of the poorest in the world.
Builder of rainforest canopy walkways believes conservation can be profitable
(09/20/2005) This month's issue of The Ecological Finance Review details Greenheart conservation Company, a for-profit company that designs, builds and operates conservation based canopy walkways (canopy trails) and other nature-based attractions around the world. Operating on the premise that conservation can be economically viable, Greenheart believes that is has already become a "model of how to shift gears from an industrial to a green economy." Greenheart has developed or is developing canopy walkways in Peru, Nigeria, Madagascar, Ghana, Brazil, Guyana, the United Kingdon, and Canada.
Madagascar to be represented at Winter Olympics in skiiing event
(09/04/2005) Mathieu Razanakolona will be the first person to represent Madagascar in the winter Olympics. Of all sports, he will be competing in skiing events. Razanakolona is Canadian- Madagasy; Madagascar has no snow.
Madagascar products reaching foreign markets thanks to USAID-funded project
(08/23/2005) US-AID Program Seeks Business Linkages in Expanding the Unique Diversity of Essential Oils From Madagascar Into U.S. and European Markets.
Convergent Evolution of Poison Frogs and Ants
(08/10/2005) A steady diet of ants may have driven the convergent evolution of poisonous frogs in Madagascar and the Americas, researchers report.
Study discovers why poison dart frogs are toxic
(08/09/2005) A new study published in the current issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that poison dart frogs, as well as the Mantella poison frogs of Madagascar, derive their toxicity from the ants they eat. Specifically, both groups are frogs are capable of storing ants' toxic alkaloid molecules in their glands without being harmed.
Two tiny lemur species discovered in Madagascar
(08/09/2005) German and Malagasy primatologists have discovered two new species of lemurs, naming one of them after Steve Goodman, a Field Museum scientist who has devoted nearly two decades to studying the animals of Madagascar.
Mining project proves controversial in Madagascar
(08/08/2005) An article in Sunday's Observer detailed a conflict between a new mining operation and environmentalists in Madagascar. Rio Tinto, a large global mining firm, has recently received permission to go ahead on a $770 million ilmenite mining project in southwestern Madagascar. The mine could bring much needed income to Madagascar, which is among the world's poorest countries.
Lemur hunting persists in Madagascar, rare primates fall victim to hunger
(07/17/2005) While it has been illegal to kill or keep lemurs as pets since 1964, lemurs are hunted where they are not protected by local taboos. Many lemurs are particularly easy targets for hunting because evolution has rendered them ecologically naive in that without natural predators over the majority of their existence, they are less fearful than they should be.
Polynesians came from Taiwan says new study
(07/13/2005) Polynesians, history's greatest seafarers who settled islands across a vast area of ocean from Madagascar to Easter Island, originated in Taiwan, according to a new genetic study published in the journal Public Library of Science Biology.
Madagascar lemurs descended from single primate ancestor, finds study
(07/11/2005) Yale biologists have managed to extract and analyze DNA from giant, extinct lemurs, according to a Yale study published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Evolutionary analysis of the DNA obtained from the extinct giants reveals that they, like the living lemurs, are descended from a single primate ancestor that colonized Madagascar more than 60 million years ago.
Studies prove people of Madagascar came from Borneo and Africa
(07/08/2005) Studies released earlier this year found the people of Madagascar have origins in Borneo and East Africa.
Madagascar hopes movie will boost tourism and economy
(07/07/2005) The Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar is hoping that a recently released Dreamworks' movie will spur tourism in the country despite its lukewarm success in the American box office.
The real story of Madagascar; new information site explores the island
(05/31/2005) Mongabay.com today announced the official launch of WildMadagascar.org, an information site on the island country of Madagascar. The site features more than 3000 photos from across Madagsacar in addition to information on the country's unique flora and fauna, national park profiles, and a wealth of other resources including maps, a travel forum, and news updates.
Dancing lemur attracts tourists to island of Madagascar
(05/30/2005) In the dry deciduous forests of south western Madagascar there lives a lemur that loudly cusses but "dances" like a ballet performer. Verreaux's sifaka is among the most popular of lemur species, a group of primates endemic to islands off the southeastern coast of Africa. While threatened, Verreaux's sifaka is easily spotted is several of Madagascar's more accessible parks.
Tourism in Madagascar; Visting the World's Most Unusual Island
(05/26/2005) Madagascar is a place like no other. Separated from mainland Africa for some 160 millions years, 80% of its native flora and fauna are unique to the island.
Why visit the real island of Madagascar?
(05/23/2005) Later this week Dreamworks releases Madagascar, an animated film depicting a group of zoo escapees who visit the island by the same name off the eastern coast of southern Africa. While the film takes certain liberties with its representation of the country, The real-life Madagascar is a fascinating place to visit. Madagascar's wildlife is among the best in the world in terms of diversity, abundance, and approachability and travel to Madagascar for this purpose is most rewarding. Madagascar also offers spectacular landscapes, an unusual history, and a countryside full of generally friendly and wonderful people.
A look at why is Madagascar so poor
(05/22/2005) Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries. In the Human Development Index of 2003, an indicator created by the United Nations Development Programme which measures achievements in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income, Madagascar was ranked #149 out of 175 counties. Most Malagasy live on less than a dollar per day and nearly half of the country's children under five years of age are malnourished.
In Madagascar, Woodworking Zafimaniry remember lost forests
(05/12/2005) In the rolling hills of the southeastern highlands of Madagascar there lives a group of people known as the Zafimaniry, or the "the people of the forest." The Zafimaniry are renowned sculptors of wood and traditionally, virtually every member of the community was involved in some aspect of woodworking and cabinetmaking. However, these are not good times for many Zafimaniry. Severe deforestation for slash-and-burn cultivation ("tavy") has left their surroundings nearly completely devoid of trees. Once encircled by vigorous forests, some Zafimaniry villages are more than a day's trek from the nearest natural wood source. As a result, over the past decade, the Zafimaniry have increasingly looked toward tourism as an answer to their the economic plight. The unmoderated flow of tourists into these remote and delicate communities has denigrated their culture and left some Zafimaniry further entrenched in poverty.
Falling price of rice calms street violence in Madagascar
(05/11/2005) According to the agriculture minister of Madagascar, the country's rice output has increased causing prices of the island's staple food to fall and reducing the risk of further unrest over the rising cost of living. Last month the capital city of Antananarivo was rocked by protests over rising inflation. Students took to the streets throwing rocks and petrol bombs at police while setting fires. These demonstrations were mild in comparison to last June's protests where students were joined by army reservists and poor mothers.
Collapsing vanilla prices will affect Madagascar
(05/09/2005) Surging vanilla production in countries from Papua New Guinea to Colombia is causing the price of vanilla beans and extract to plummet in markets around the world. The drop in vanilla prices is expected to hit Madagascar, the world's largest producer of vanilla beans, especially hard. Most affected will be growers in the tropical northeastern part of the island who have relied on the valuable crop for years.
The Giant Jumping Rat, another oddity from Madagascar
(05/08/2005) The giant jumping rat is the largest rodent in Madagascar, roughly equivilant in size to a rabbit.
Environmentalists hope new film will help conservation efforts in Madagascar
(05/06/2005) Environmentalists hope new film will help conservation efforts in Madagascar.
People of Madagascar have origins in Borneo, Africa
(05/03/2005) A new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics confirms that the people of Madagascar have origins in both East Africa and also distant Borneo.
Madagascar travel forum and discussion board launched at WildMadagascar.org
(04/28/2005) WildMadagascar.org, a leading information site on Madagascar, today launched a beta version of a travel forum on Madagascar. The forum will serve as a place where people can discuss travel in Madagascar and the surrounding region.
Madagascar Larger Than Life, New Life for Madagascar's Tourist Industry?
(04/26/2005) One of the most anticipated films of the spring is Dreamworks's Madagascar. Scheduled for release over the often profitable Memorial Day weekend, this new feature is generating lots of buzz for the studio as well as the actors voicing the animated creatures featured in the movie. Madagascar, the country, hopes the film will stimulate its tourist industry in a way similar to Kenya's after the 1985 film Out of Africa was released.
New media resource on the wildlife of Madagscar
(04/25/2005) WildMadagascar.org, a leading information site on Madagascar, today announced the availability of PDF documents on the wildlife of Madagascar. The colorful "Wildlife of Madagascar" PDF is available free of charge on the site's media section.
Down a river of blood into a remote canyon in Madagascar: Exploring the Manambolo River
(04/24/2005) Madagascar has been called the great red island and from space, astronauts have remarked the island looks like it is bleeding to death. Severe environmental degradation means Madagascar loses more topsoil per hectare than any country in the world. Being one of the poorest nations on Earth, the people of Madagascar can ill afford this loss. In 2004 I set off to see one of these rivers that is carrying away the lifeblood of the Malagasy; the Manambolo of Western Madagascar.
Studying the rainforest canopy
(04/21/2005) The Global Canopy Programme, a groundbreaking new project dedicated to studying rainforest canopies, is about to enter the implementation stage in five tropical forests across the globe. Headed by Dr. Andrew Mitchell of Oxford University, the project will place giant cranes in Brazil, Ghana, India, Madagascar and Malaysia
Madagascar looks toward a brighter economic future with movie, new aid package
(04/18/2005) While the planet's most biologically diverse island is also one of the poorest countries in the world, Madagascar may well be on its way to a brighter economic future thanks to a blockbuster animated movie, an innovative new aid program, and the capable leadership of the new president.
Seeking the world's strangest primate on a tropical island paradise
(04/17/2005) Seeking the world's strangest primate on a tropical island paradise
Madagascar to takes action against illegal logging
(04/05/2005) Madagascar to takes action against illegal logging
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