Wildlife of Madagascar

Wildlife of Madagascar

by Ken Behrens, Keith Barnes


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The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar is one of the world's great natural treasures and ecotourism destinations. Despite being an island, it is home to nearly an entire continent’s variety of species, from the famous lemurs to a profusion of bizarre and beautiful birds, reptiles and amphibians. Wildlife of Madagascar is a compact and beautifully illustrated photographic guide, and an essential companion for any visitor or resident. With an eye-catching design, authoritative and accessible text and easy-to-use format, it provides information on identification, distribution, habitat, behaviour, biology and conservation for all the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies likely to be seen.

  • The most comprehensive single-volume field guide to Madagascar’s wildlife
  • Attractive layout features more than 900 stunning colour photographs
  • Covers the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies, and some of the other invertebrates and plants, most likely to be seen
  • Provides key information about identification, distribution, habitat, behaviour and conservation
  • Introductory sections provide background information on Madagascar and its unique environments

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691161716
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Series: Wildlife Explorer Guides
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 660,332
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ken Behrens is a naturalist and photographer who lives in Madagascar and works as a guide for Tropical Birding, a birdwatching, wildlife, and photography tour operator. Keith Barnes, a native of South Africa, is a founder and director of Tropical Birding. He holds a PhD from the Percy FitzPatrick Institute in African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town. Behrens and Barnes are also the authors of Birds of Kruger National Park (Princeton WILDGuides), Birding Ethiopia and Wild Rwanda.

Table of Contents

A brief introduction to Madagascar 8

About this book 9

Map of Madagascar showing biogeographic zones and most visited natural sites 10

Biogeographic zones of Madagascar 12

How to use this book 26



Mouse lemurs 32

Dwarf lemurs 34

Giant mouse and fork-marked lemurs 36


Sportive lemurs 38


Bamboo lemurs 40

Ring-tailed Lemur 44

Northern brown lemurs 46

Widespread brown lemurs 48

Distinctive Eulemur species of the north and west 50

Ruffed lemurs 52

Woolly lemurs 54


Western sifakas 56

Eastern sifakas 58

Local sifakas 60

Indri 62


Aye-aye 64


Malagasy carnivorans 66

Fosa 68


Bats 70


Tenrecs 74


Rodents 78


Marine mammals 80


Ducks and grebes 84

Gamebirds 86

Herons 88

White egrets 92

Compact herons and Hamerkop 94

Larger raptors 98

Smaller raptors 100

Shy birds of the forest floor 102

Rails and jacana 104

Plovers 106

Smaller, plainer sandpipers 110

Larger, more distinctive sandpipers 112

Endemic pigeons 114

Aquatic oddities 114

Terns 116

Birds of the sea 118

Doves and pigeons 120

Endemic pigeons 122

Parrots 124

Cuckoos 126

Couas of the dry west & southwest 128

Couas of the wet east & north 130

Owls 132

Nightjars 134

Aerial feeders 136

Kingfishers and bee-eater 138

Hoopoe and roller 140

More common rainforest ground-rollers 142

Scarcer rainforest ground-rollers 144

Long-tailed Ground-roller and Cuckoo-roller 146

Asities 148

Common open-country birds 150

Widespread songbirds 152

Robin-like birds 154

Warblers that live close to the ground 156

Forest canopy warblers 160

Bernierids 162

Sunbirds and white-eye 164

Common and widespread vangas 166

Typical vangas 168

Strange vangas 170

Large vangas 172

Dark-headed vangas and cuckoo-shrike 174

Mid-sized dark birds 176

Weavers 178


Tortoises and terrapins 182

Sea turtles and crocodile 184

Tiny leaf chameleons of the north 186

Widespread medium to large leaf chameleons 188

The largest chameleons on earth 190

Common chameleons of degraded areas 192

Eastern rainforest chameleons: small 194

Eastern rainforest chameleons: medium to large 196

Chameleons of the north 200

Chameleons of the west 204

Swifts I: west and southwest 208

Swifts II: rock-dwelling swifts of the southwest 210

Plated lizards I: species without strong stripes on back 212

Plated lizards II: species with strong stripes on back 214

Skinks I 216

Widespread day geckos 220

Day geckos of the north 222

Day geckos of the west, south and centre 224

Dwarf geckos 226

Small nocturnal geckos 228

Large nocturnal geckos 230

Leaf-tailed geckos I: leaf-like and dry bark-like species 232

Leaf-tailed geckos II: mossy bark-like species 234

Malagasy boas 238

Distinctive snakes 240

Common and widespread snakes 242

Rainforest snakes 244


Ridged frog and reed frogs 248

Distinctive terrestrial microhylids 250

Arboreal microhylids252

Mantellas I: species with orange 254

Mantellas II: green-and-black species 256

Small to medium bright-eyed frogs 258

Medium to large bright-eyed frogs 262

Various arboreal mantellids 266

Various terrestrial mantellids 268

Bridge frogs 270

Madagascar frogs: plain species 274

Madagascar frogs: more distinctive species 278


Invertebrates: distinctive species 282

Butterflies: swallowtails 286

Butterflies: pierids 292

Butterflies: metalmarks and lycanids 396

Butterflies: orange nymphalids 398

Butterflies: various nymphalids (emperors, commodore and pansy) 304

Butterflies: pansies 306

Butterflies: black-and-white nymphalids 308

Butterflies: satyrs 312

Butterflies: skippers, and moths 314


Iconic plants 316

Baobabs 320

Glossary of terms 324

Further reading and useful resources 327

Acknowledgements and photo credits 328

Index 332

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