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Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide
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Author: Nick Garbutt.
ISBN-10: 0-7136-7043-6 (0713670436)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7136-7043-1 (9780713670431)
Language: English
No. of Pages: 304
Dimensions: 157mm x 234mm x 18mm

Item Identification Code (UID#): 993
Shelving Location: Natural History: Fauna
Estimated Value: £25.00
Purchase Date: 12 April 2007
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Price Paid: Log In to view this

Mammals of Madagascar

A Complete Guide

First Edition
A&C Black (2007).
Softcover Book

A comprehensive guide to all the mammal species living in Madagascar, each with a description of its appearance and behaviour, habitat details, information on the best places to see it, as well as distribution maps and photographs.

The work is based in part on a 1999 work of the same name and by the same author. However, developments in this field have been so extensive in the intervening eight years (the number of described species increased by a staggering 50% during this short time) that it is, in effect, a complete re-write.

Text from the Back Cover

This practical, informative and beautifully illustrated guide is the essential field companion for anyone with an interest in the unique mammal fauna of Madagascar.

  • Covers all 184 native species of mammal found on the island, including several newly described species
  • Illustrated throughout with 230 stunning colour photographs, 200 maps and 75 line drawings
  • Features a useful section detailing the best mammal-watching sites on Madagascar

About the Author from the Back Cover

Nick Garbutt is a well known authority on Madagascar's wildlife. He has observed the majority of the island's mammals in the wild a claim only a handful of others can make. He is also an award-winning wildlife photographer and talented artist, and contributes articles and photos to many publications including National Geographic, Africa Geographic and BBC Wildlife.

Introduction from page 9

When I first visited Madagascar in May 1991, the country had just three national parks Montagne d'Ambre, Isalo and the then recently created one at Ranomafana. Today the island boasts no fewer than 18 national parks plus more than 25 other major protected areas. This is testimony to the increased level of commitment to conserving the island's unique biodiversity in the face of ever escalating threats: a commitment underlined in 2003 by President Marc Ravalomanana, at the 5th World Parks Congress when he announced his government's intention to triple the area of Madagascar's forests under protection. In what is now known as 'The Durban Vision' he said: 'We can no longer afford to watch our forests go up in flames, nor let our many lakes, marshes and wetlands dry up, nor can we inconsiderately exhaust our marine resources. This is not just Madagascar's biodiversity, it is the world's biodiversity. We have the firm political will to stop this degradation.'

Further, the past 16 years has seen a corresponding surge in the volume of research being carried out within the island's forests, wetlands and other natural habitats. Even by the early 1990s there were still only a relatively small number of species that had been studied in any detail and for which anything other than scant information was available. Most research concentrated on the higher profile (and relatively accessible) lemurs that were without question the island's flagship species. Since then, gaps have been filled at an ever-increasing rate. Lemurs undoubtedly remain the island's best studied group, and there has now been field research looking at members of every genus many of these have turned into long-term investigations.

Research into Madagascar's carnivores, insectivores, rodents and bats has also gathered considerable momentum. In particular, a programme of detailed biological inventories covering forests primarily in the east e.g. Marojejy, Anjanahasibe-Sud [sic], Masoala, Andringitra and Andohahela, but also latterly in the south and west e.g. Zombitse and Mitea, have added greatly to our knowledge of the distributions and ranges of these smaller mammals.

This increased knowledge has led to the recent publication of some landmark volumes perhaps most notably The Natural History of Madagascar, Goodman, S.M. and Benstead, J.P. (eds), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA., a collection of essays and reviews covering a huge range of subjects and aspects of the island's biodiversity from soils and geology to botany, invertebrate zoology, vertebrate zoology, conservation and land management. The chapter covering the mammal fauna is particularly comprehensive and informative.

However, even a volume of this magnitude serves to highlight how many gaps in our knowledge still exist. For instance, since its publication in 2003 no fewer than 35 new mammal species have been described (two rodents, two insectivores, five bats and 26 lemurs) and a number of micro-mammals (bats, rodents, shrew tenrecs) that have already been collected still await formal description. What is more, this is a trend that seems certain to continue as scientists begin to investigate isolated patches of forest for the first time in some of Madagascar's remotest regions.

In this volume I have tried to incorporate all the latest information and make each species account as up to date as possible. Comparison with the original Mammals of Madagascar (Pica Press, 1999) will highlight how far knowledge has moved on. Yet, what is presented here remains far from complete and in some cases will become outdated relatively quickly. Nonetheless this concise synopsis should prove a useful and informative guide for those wishing to discover more about one of the most fascinating and unusual mammalian assemblages on Earth.


  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • How to Use the Guide
  • Biogeography and Regions of Madagascar
    • How Did Mammals Get to Madagascar?
    • Regions and Habitats
  • The Mammals of Madagascar
    • Overview
    • Classification
    • Species Lists
  • Insectivores, Order Lypotyphla
    • Family Tenrecidae
      • Subfamily Tenrecinae
      • Subfamily Geogalinae
      • Subfamily Oryzorictinae
    • Introduced Species
      • Family Soricidae
  • Bats, Order Chiroptera
    • Suborder Megachiroptera
      • Family Pteropodidae
    • Suborder Microchiroptera
      • Family Emballonuridae
      • Family Nycteridae
      • Family Hipposideridae
      • Family Myzopodidae
      • Family Vespertilionidae
        • Subfamily Vespertilionina
        • Subfamily Miniopterinae
      • Family Molossidae
  • Lemurs, Order Primates
    • Infraorder Lemuriformes
      • Family Cheirogaleidae
        • Subfamily Cheirogaleinae
        • Subfamily Phanerinae
      • Family Lepilemuridae
      • Family Lemuridae
        • Subfamily Hapalemurinae
        • Subfamily Lemurinae
      • Family Indridae
      • Family Daubentoniidae
  • Civet-like Carnivores and Mongooses, Order Carnivora
    • Family Eupleridae
      • Subfamily Galidiinae
    • Introduced Species
      • Family Viverridae
        • Subfamily Viverrinae
  • Rats and Mice, Order Rodentia
    • Family Muridae
      • Subfamily Nesomyinae
    • Introduced Species
      • Subfamily Murinae
  • Non-endemic Mammals
    • Domestic Stock
    • Deer
    • Dogs and Cats
    • Bush Pigs
  • Conservation and Protected Areas
    • Parks and Reserves
  • Top Mammal-watching Sites
    • Rainforest Areas
    • Deciduous Forest Areas
    • Spiny Forest Areas
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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