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Guide to the Birds of Madagascar
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Author: Olivier M. Langrand.
Foreword by: Prince Philip - Duke of Edinburgh.
Illustrator: Vincent Bretagnolle.
Additional Contributor: Willem Daniels.
ISBN-10: 0-300-04310-4 (0300043104)
ISBN-13: 978-0-300-04310-5 (9780300043105)
Language: English
No. of Pages: xi + 364
Dimensions: 162mm x 243mm x 36mm

Item Identification Code (UID#): 1881
Shelving Location: Natural History: Fauna
Estimated Value: £50.00
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Guide to the Birds of Madagascar

Yale University Press (1990).
Hardcover Book with Dust Jacket

Text from the Front and Back Flaps

Madagascar, isolated for at least 120 million years and the fourth largest island in the world, is home to a remarkable variety of endemic animals and plants. This book is the first up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the unusual bird life of Madagascar. Forty watercolor illustrations provide clear and easy identification of all the Malagasy birds.

Beginning with an overview of the natural habitats of Madagascar, the book then provides a general introduction to the avifauna. The endemic and endangered species are highlighted for each geographical region of the country. Seventeen prime bird observation sites are described in a section especially helpful to visitors to Madagascar. This section includes information on site accessibility, permit requirements, accommodation, observation facilities, and the species of birds found there.

The detailed guide to individual species is the heart of this book. Full information on each bird species is clearly presented: descriptions of adults and immatures; song; habitat and dietary requirements; nesting habits; and distribution and status. The final section includes descriptions of birds not yet reported from Madagascar but likely to occur there, as well as distribution maps of the bird species. This book is a vital resource for bird enthusiasts and serious naturalists everywhere.

About the Author and Illustrator from the Back Flap

Olivier Langrand, an ornithologist, is Technical Advisor to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Protected Areas Management Project in Madagascar. Vincent Bretagnolle is at the Centre d'Etudes Biologiques des Animaux Sauvages, a division of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Beauvoir-sur-Niort, France.

Foreword from Page vii

All islands hold a special fascination for naturalists and particularly for ornithologists. The absence of any physical boundaries on the continents means that birds can move about freely, migration is easier and species tend to merge with one another. Islands are isolated, and the principles of evolution dictate that, whatever their origin, island species develop along their own lines.

It was this feature that attracted Darwin's attention when he visited the Galapagos Islands, but had fate taken him to Madagascar, he would have noticed exactly the same thing. Madagascar has been cut off from the rest of the world for so long that it now contains an exceptionally high proportion of endemic species in its rich endowment of flora and fauna. A cursory glance at the taxonomic list at the end of this book is enough to reveal the proportion of names that start with "Madagascar ...."

I am quite sure that this thoroughly researched and beautifully illustrated book will be greatly welcomed by people interested in birds all over the world, from the academic ornithologist to the enthusiastic bird-watcher. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the author, Olivier Langrand, to his translator, Willem Daniels, and to Vincent Bretagnolle for his excellent illustrations.

H.R.H. Prince Philip


  • Contents
  • Foreword by H.R.H. Prince Philip
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes by the Illustrator
  • Introduction
  • Map of Madagascar: Geographic Location
  • Overview of the Natural Habitats of Madagascar
    • Forest Habitats
    • Other Habitats
    • Map of Floristic Domains
  • The Avifauna of Madagascar
    • Taxonomic Composition
    • Extinct Species
    • Introduced Species
    • Migratory Movements
    • Diagram of the Composition of Resident Species
  • Analysis of the Bird Community
    • The Bird Community Specific to the Eastern Region
    • The Bird Community Specific to the Western Region
  • Diagram of the Distribution of Species by Domain
  • Protected Areas System
    • List of Protected Areas
    • Map of Protected Area Locations
    • Diagram of Species Distribution in Protected Areas
  • Recommended Sites for Observing the Avifauna of Madagascar
  • List of Birds at Recommended Observation Sites
  • Map of the Western Indian Ocean around Madagascar
  • Potential Species in the Vicinity of the Coast of Madagascar
    • List of Potential Species
    • Identification of Potential Species
    • Brief Guide to the Identification of Potential Species
  • Organization of the Field Identification Guide
  • Topography of a Bird
  • Taxonomic List of Scientific, English, and French Names
  • Locator Map
  • Alphabetical List of Places
  • Guide to the Birds of Madagascar
  • Distribution Maps
  • Alphabetical and Etymological Key to Malagasy Names
  • Index of English Names
  • Index of Scientific Names

Condition of Item

Very Good.

Refer to the glossary for definitions of terms used to describe the condition of items.



This item was kindly donated to the Madagascar Library collection by Hilary Bradt.
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