Image: Jorn Kohler/WWF Madagascar
Furcifer timoni, female
A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report entitled Treasure Island: New biodiversity in Madagascar describes how scientists have recorded 615 new species on the island between 1999 and 2010. However, many if not most of these species are already critically endangered due to the wholescale destruction of their forest habitat. More than 90% of the forests have already been destroyed – and yet the island is home to 5% of the world’s species, of which 70% appear nowhere else. Thus, when their habitat is gone, there will be no populations left to further their existence.
It is of critical importance that everything possible be done both politically and financially to find ways to protect the habitat of these wondrous creatures, and in the end encourage the growth of a truly protective economy that can arise from ecotourism. Let’s take a look at some of the new discoveries in the last decade – creatures that we desperately want to save from extinction.