Status and Trends of Biodiversity
Madagascar, a tropical island, possesses extraordinary conditions for a high rate of species endemism. For example, 80% of the 14 000 vascular plants present in the country are endemic species. In the cases of snakes and chameleons, the endemism rate amounts to an exceptional 96%. Thus, the situation of threatened species becomes extremely important, especially for those that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Madagascar’s ecosystems include many types of forests, savannah, steppes, rivers and lakes, wetlands, mangroves, drylands, and reefs. The unsustainable exploitation of resources, notably through agriculture, constitutes one of the major threats to the country’s biodiversity.