Born and raised in Madagascar

Madagascar is considered to be one of the, if not the most, precious reservoir of life on our planet. Some 90% of its fauna and flora is endemic to the island, meaning these species are only found in Madagascar. Its lilies have cancer-curing properties, and its deep tropical forest (and the savannah-like mainland, and mountainous regions) still hold more secrets than they have actually yielded. And that’s just on one island. Just imagine what biodiversity can do.

The Plan A team could not resist sharing with you the large-scale cuteness episode we have witnessed during our research on lemurs. Watch out, weak hearts will melt. And remind you to give to our live campaign!

1. The Madagascar Long-Eared Owl
Long eared owl in Madagascar
Also called Madagascar owl, for the obvious reason that it is from there. It is the largest owl in the island, and most definitely the furriest one. Its audition is so sharp that it can hunt in complete darkness. Very unlucky for insects and other rodents not weary enough at night. Finally, and extremely importantly, she keeps her little babies safe and warm in her incredible ramage (coat). Owls are just too good at what they do.

2. The Panther Chameleon
Panther Chameleon colours
Now, this is a weird one. The Panther Chameleon has the largest colour palette of all the chameleons (and thus of the animal kingdom). They are also larger than your average Joe chameleon. Because of these attributes, it is very sought after by reptile keepers and traffickers. It hunts and traps its prey using its crazy extensile sticky tongue. Without any trace of tongue in cheek (unlike this guy), this is the most special looking living thing we’ve met. Maybe ever.

3. The IndriIndri lemur fruit

Madagascar is renowned for being home to cat-like primates called lemurs (but you know that by now). Among the 100+ different species of lemurs, the indri is the largest of all. Indris inhabit in the rainforests in the eastern part of Madagascar, along the Ankeniheny-Zahamena corridor so key to Madagascar’s biodiversity. They measure (without the tail) between 50-75 cm and weigh up to 10 kg. However, they are gravely endangered, due to bushmeat hunting, loss of habitat and illegal pet trade. Their population passed under the 10,000 threshold last year. The Indri is one of the species NPI is protecting. Donate now to our live campaign to help them.

Indris are renowned for their frequent high pitched calls. These calls are loud enough to be heard from miles away. Indris have powerful legs and big toes that give a strong grip on grabbing the branches of trees. This amazing lemur can cross a distance up to 10 metres in a single jump, or better said 20 times their height. How far can you jump?

4. The Blue CouaBlue Coua

Madagascar Island is home to almost 250 different species of birds, of which 44% of them are endemic. One such endemic bird is the blue coua, a type of cuckoo. Their striking deep blue plumage covers almost all of their bodies. Unfortunately, this beautiful bird of Madagascar may go extinct in the near future due to hunting. As can all members of this list if a nationwide effort in favour of habitats and biodiversity if nothing is done for biodiversity in Madagascar.

5. The Tomato Frog
Tomato frog Madagascar amphibianDon’t try and eat them! It’s just the colour. Tomato frogs are named for their vibrant orange-red coloured skin. Only the female frogs have such a tomato-like colouration. The male frogs look duller. Tomato frogs dwell in swamps, shallow pools and wetter parts of the island. In reality, their colouration is actually a warning to their predators, although they are not as toxic as they let on. When threatened, their skin produces a thick, sticky fluid to deter snakes and other predators that would want a piece of this vegetable.

There are more than 13,000 species on Madagascar, and we are far from the final count.

These are small examples of the beauty and magic that happen in the deep of the forest on the Red Island. The twin problems of poverty and biodiversity loss require a national and international relief effort. The fauna and flora of Madagascar are of invaluable worth to the global community, and to future generations. Whether it is because they are beautiful, or because they have special powers and benefits, these species amount to incredibly complex ecosystems, that should be preserved at all cost.

Published on PlanA.Earth.