The "Eighth" Continent
Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo. It is located in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa, opposite Mozambique. It is roughly the size of Texas or France and is home to about 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, of which 80% are endemic to Madagascar.
Madagascar's long isolation from the neighboring continents has resulted in a unique mix of plants and animals, many found nowhere else in the world. Some ecologists refer to Madagascar as the 8th continent. The wildlife of Madagascar includes aye-aye, various species of lemur, flying fox, fossa, fanaloka, mongoose, tenrec, snakes, crocodiles, frogs etc.
Despite Madagascar’s rich biodiversity, it is one of the world’s poorest nations. Major threats to its environment include deforestation and habitat destruction, agricultural fires and over exploitation of natural resources.