Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Why is so little attention paid to Madagascar's incredible wildlife?

Alison Clausen in Antananarivo, Madagascar

Tuesday 27 January 2015 12.44 GMT

Type “Madagascar” into any internet search engine and you are more likely to get reviews of the latest DreamWorks cartoon franchise followed by depressing snippets of news on poverty, disease, and economic hardship than any positive information on the country’s truly amazing natural resources.

To conservationists such as myself, who have been working in the world’s fourth largest island to preserve the country’s forests and wildlife, many of which evolved uniquely and are found nowhere else, the limited awareness of Madagascar’s natural riches leaves us scratching our heads.

In these ‘green times’, when conservation and wildlife stories are prominent, eco-tourists roam the globe, and public interest in all things ecological continues to grow steadily, why is so little attention paid to a country that houses a staggering 5% of global biodiversity while occupying a mere 0.4% of the global landmass?

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