About the size of a rabbit, this rat is the largest rodent in Madagascar.
They have relatively short tails for their size, and despite their name, rarely jump. However when they do jump, they can reach heights of up to 3 feet, and only do so to avoid predators like boas and fossa. Their hind feet are large and adapted for jumping.
They live in burrows that can be up to 17 feet long. During the day they build and sleep in these burrows. At night they forage on fruits, seeds, vegetation and occasionally insects and bugs.
Due to habitat destruction and predation from introduced species, they are critically endangered. Some believe that it may become extinct in less than 30 years.
The Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus), found only in northeastern Madagascar, is a large lemur that is one of the rarest of all mammals, threatened in its limited range by both habitat destruction and hunting.
Aquarium launches desperate search to save a species down to 2 individuals
May 10, 2013 - Aquarists at ZSL London Zoo have launched a worldwide appeal to find a female mate for a fish species that is believed to have gone extinct in the wild.
The fish, Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus), was once found in the Mangarahara River in Madagascar, but dams have dried up its habitat. The last two known individuals now reside at ZSL London Zoo’s Aquarium. But both are male.
The zoo is therefore asking any zoos or aquarium keepers who may have females to contact it…
Hibernating primates: scientists discover three lemur species sleep like bears
by Jeremy Hance
ears do it, bats do it, and now we know lemurs do it too: hibernate, that is. Since 2005, scientists have known that the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur hibernates, but a new study in Scientific Reports finds that hibernation is more widespread among lemurs than expected. At least two additional lemur species—Crossley’s dwarf lemur and Sibree’s dwarf lemur—have been discovered hibernating. So far lemurs, which are only found on the island of Madagascar, are the only primates known to undergo hibernation, raising curious questions about the relationship between lemur hibernation and more well-known deep sleepers…
(read more: MongaBay) (photo: MongaBay/Rhett A. Butler)
Tortoise Trafficking Raging Out of Control in Madagascar
Conservation groups urge authorities to clamp down on black market trade
WCS Press release
Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,000 individual tortoises have been seized from would-be smugglers.
Illegal trafficking of two critically endangered tortoise species from Madagascar has reached epidemic proportions, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Turtle Survival Alliance, Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, Turtle Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and other groups who urge authorities to clamp down on wildlife smuggling before some species are collected out of existence.
According to the groups, more than 1,000 radiated and ploughshare tortoises have been confiscated from smugglers in the first three months of 2013 alone. In late March, 54 ploughshare tortoises made it as far as Thailand before being seized by authorities. A recent report by TRAFFIC states that the radiated tortoise is now the most common tortoise for sale in Bangkok’s infamous Chatuchak wildlife market.
The groups say that since the beginning of Madagascar’s continuing political crisis in 2009, smuggling has increased by at least ten-fold due to weak governance and rule-of-law. In addition, erosion of cultural protection of the tortoises for short term monetary gain has contributed to their sharp decline. In the past, tortoises were protected by “fady” – a local belief that harming the tortoises is taboo. However, with years of drought and increasing levels of poverty, people from regions outside the tortoise’s natural range, who do not practice these types of fady, are capturing and illegally selling tortoises…
“The blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates—and is the only known non-human primate with truly blue eyes (as an adult). With less than 2,000 specimens left in the wild, zoos and wildlife sanctuaries are trying to develop programs to ensure its survival. Dimbi [pictured] is a blue-eyed lemur cub born on April 19 at the Mulhouse Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Alsace, France.”
The Black-eared Mantella (Mantella milotympanum) is a species of frog in the Mantellidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical swamps, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss.
The Blue-legged Mantella (Mantella expectata) is a species of frog in the Mantellidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, rivers, and Intermittent rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss. It is over collected for the pet trade and may soon qualify for critically endangered again.
Golden mantellas (Mantella aurantiaca) are frogs native to Madagascar. They belong to a subfamily (Mantellinae) that is strikingly convergent with the dart-poison frogs of Central and South America (family Dendrobatidae). That is, they aren’t closely related to Dendrobatids, but have independently evolved alkaloids in their skin that are distasteful or toxic to predators, and similarly display bright colors as a warning.
Among the list of new species are mouse lemurs, the world’s tiniest primates. Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), discovered in 2000, is the smallest of the mouse lemurs and the smallest in the world with an average body length of 3.5 in (9 cm) and weight of around 1 ounce (30 g). It is found in the Kirindy Mitea National Park in Western Madagascar.
Officially described in 2009, both males and females of the chameleon, Furcifer timoni, are very striking, appearing to sport vibrant ‘glam rock’ makeup. According to scientists, the discovery of this distinctive new species was very surprising since the area they call home has been repeatedly and intensively surveyed for reptiles over many years. In total, 11 new chameleon species have been described in Madagascar since 1999.
(photos: T - Frank Glaw/WWF Madagascar; B - Jöm Köhler/WWF Madagascar)
Since 1999, scientists have discovered 615 new species of animals and plants on the island of Madagascar. This newly described species of Mantellid frog, Boophis lilianae (seen here mating), was formally identified in 2008.