Madagascar in a “Sadly Degraded State”

Most of Madagascar’s unique trees and animals face extinction due to accelerating land clearing at the hands of a corrupt government

Madagascar Sadly degradedLike Australia, Madagascar is an isolated ecosystem with unique and amazing lifeforms not found anywhere else. Soon, they won’t be found at all as the island becomes a moonscape appropriate for the filming on an End Times documentaryIn a previous post, we noted that the Tasmanian Devil will soon be preserved only as a cartoon character and in zoos. Madadascar, the world’s fourth largest island, is in the same boat. The animated movie series portrays a place that no longer exists except in every decreasing pockets, with extinctions of flora and fauna proceeding at an alarming pace.

There are or were 8,000 endemic species on Madagascar, many of them so visually astounding as to be otherworldly. The isolation of the island after separating from Africa 80 million years ago created a laboratory for innovative evolution.

But just as many human inhabitants of the American Southwest often come to see the landscape as something to exploit rather than a natural miracle, so the very poor inhabitants of Madagascar are more concerned with eating than the natural world.

As a result, traditional slash-and-burn agriculture has wiped out about 90% of the native tree cover, causing large scale erosion and permanent soil degradation.

Some progress had been made in the late decades of the 20th century to slow the process, but a political coup in 2009 triggered an unprecedented orgy of plunder. Andry Rajoelina, the new “president”, lifted a ban on rare hardwood harvesting and the loggers began clear cutting before the ink was dry. Illegal logging in the national parks is wiping out rare tree species at a record pace as the raw logs ship out for China. The practice of lemur bushmeat hunting is wiping out that particular species as well.

Feeding 14 million people and the greed of government officials leaves no room for environmental considerations.

RELATED: Palm oil plantations finishing off Indonesian forests and the orangutans who live there.

Leave a Reply