Being recognized as “the eighth continent” with many species found nowhere else in the world and a diversified ecosystem, Madagascar wildlife is truly worth exploring.
Lemurs are primates that have the appearance mix of dog, cat, and fox. There are 50 different species of lemurs which are endemic animals living in only Madagascar island. They have listed in the top critically endangered animals in the world since the living habitat is seriously threatened.
Lemurs have unique characteristics as they sound like whales, walking like a dancer. In addition, they live in groups of up to 30 individuals and follow the female leader in the search for food. You can easily catch sights of unique lemurs once visiting these national parks: Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Ranomafana National Park, or Anja Community Reserve (where is home of around 300 ring-tailed lemurs), Aye Aye Island (where you might catch sight of the rarely spotted aye-aye lemurs), …
Rare aye-aye lemurs
2. The fossa
It is an endemic animal and the largest carnivore in Madagascar, which can be compared as a small leopard. It has a slender body, looks like a cat but is close to the relative mongooses or civet. Just like lemurs, Fossa is among the endangered species and listed by the IUCN Red List of the threatened species because their habitat is diminishing.
With the long tail, it is easier for a fossa to keep the balance when moving through trees. It is extremely shy and rarely spotted in the wild.
3. Madagascar pochard
It is the rarest bird/ duck in the world that can be found only in Madagascar in recent years. This duck type has been once extinct due to lacking the source of food and exhausted environment until 25 individuals were found in Madagascar island then breed and critically reserved.
They can be spotted in the Lake Matsaborimena or Lake Sofia. Madagascar pochard can stay underwater for up to 2 minutes.
Madagascar government has launched efficiency solutions to save the pochard from extinction. Joining hands with the local community is regarded as the best way to ensure that birds will not become extinct because of human activity.
4. Blue Coua bird
There are nearly 250 bird species in Madagascar island, and the most unique one is Blue Coua with the sapphire blue hair. Unfortunately, the Coua bird is going to be extinct due to excessive hunting. It feeds on insects, small reptiles and fruits, mainly found from treetops to the undergrowth, and very rarely on the ground. In addition, it builds its own nest and rears its young. It is mostly arboreal and occurs usually in mid-story.
The Blue Coua can be found in mangroves and forests and are often spotted on a Manafiafy mangrove tour.
5. Panther chameleon
The panther chameleon is one of the largest chameleons in the world, which lives mostly in central and west-northern Madagascar. They can rapidly change their colors due to many reasons: feeling, health, varied temperature, and light intensity. The color shades indicate different meanings: Yellow shows anger and aggression, while green signifies a calm or relaxed attitude, …
They commonly dwell in the foliage of small trees in the areas covered by tropical forests. It can be found in the eastern and northern parts of Madagascar in a tropical forest biome.
6. Madagascan Fish Eagle
This fish eagle, also known as Haliaeetus Vociferous, which is the largest raptor of Madagascar, is close to a huge African eagle type. They mainly feed on small fish, therefore, they are regarded as incredible competitors with the Malagasy fishermen. Nowadays, it is classified as critically endangered since their numbers are gradually declined. Illegal hunting and deforestation make these eagles lose their natural habitats that are used to make their nest. Some local people still traditionally believe that possessing Madagascar Fish Eagle’s feet will bring human healing powers, so they trap these eagles and chop off one of their legs.
They are now surviving in low numbers along the West coast of Madagascar.
7. Comet moth
The comet moth is also known as Madagascar moon moth and one of the largest moths in the world. It features long tails beneath its yellow, green and brown-colored wings, which help the insect camouflage itself during the daytime. To this day these beautiful animals have no protection status, and their population status has not been established. The eggs of the moth are collected for trade in the world market.
Because of their short life spans, comet moths do not have mouths and live off fat stored as caterpillars.
In addition to a unique mammal system, 90% of Madagascar’s reptiles are endemic, including two-thirds of the world's chameleon species. The island also has more than 100 species of endemic birds and possesses a large percentage of amphibians and freshwater fish.
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