Nature pictures from Madagascar

These images were taken by Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler over the course of several trips to Madagascar between 1997 and 2019.

The images are organized into galleries, the most popular of which are presented below.

The bottom of this page includes recent conservation news from Madagascar.





How do red-fronted lemurs behave? Candid Animal Cam is in Madagascar (27 Oct 2020 03:30:02 +0000)
- Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Madagascar shuts down ‘illegal’ gold mine but activists remain in legal limbo (21 Oct 2020 13:55:56 +0000)
- Earlier this month, Madagascar’s government suspended a controversial gold-mining operation in Vohilava commune in the country’s southeast.
- The project, a dredging operation in the Isaka River that allegedly uses mercury to separate gold from ore, has caused notable damage to the river, local economy, and public health, prompting near-unanimous local opposition.
- A demonstration in September against the mine prompted a visit by officials that led to the mine’s suspension.
- However, prosecutors are investigating six people for involvement in the demonstration, including one who was previously jailed as a result of his opposition to the mining project.

Madagascar experiments with drones for its massive reforestation effort (19 Oct 2020 07:45:10 +0000)
- Madagascar plans to acquire drones to help with its massive official reforestation campaign.
- The country aims to plant 60 million trees per year in an attempt to reconstruct its green architecture and restore ecological balance.
- It has already experimented with drones to help relief efforts during natural disasters and to deliver medical supplies in remote regions.

Madagascar’s top court criticizes government handling of mining project (09 Oct 2020 13:51:02 +0000)
- Australian firm Base Resources has been trying to develop a large mineral sands mining project in southwest Madagascar.
- A year ago, the project appeared close to securing the permits it needs to break ground, but its fortunes changed when the government suspended the project last November.
- Now, a branch of Madagascar’s Supreme Court has issued a report on the governance of the project that cites irregularities in the issuance of permits, the transference of land rights, the management of a protected area, and the consultation process with local people.
- Civil society groups are calling for the government to cancel the project, but it’s not yet clear when the government will make a definitive decision or how much the court’s report might influence it.

Indian embassy in Madagascar becomes first to go fully solar (02 Oct 2020 23:54:13 +0000)
- A solar power plant was inaugurated at the Indian embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2.
- It became the first Indian embassy in the world to be run entirely on solar power from the 8 KW plant.
- Madagascar has huge potential to develop solar energy, with almost all regions receiving 2800 hours of sunshine in a year.
- The environment minister acknowledged that with less than 15% of people having access to grid electricity embracing solar power was a way for Madagascar to develop and meet its climate goals.

Madagascar reopens national parks shuttered by COVID-19 (17 Sep 2020 16:14:01 +0000)
- On Sept. 5, Madagascar began reopening all its national parks. They’d been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The pandemic has been devastating for local economies, which depend heavily on tourism.
- Madagascar authorities also announced further easing of restrictions throughout much of the island nation and the resumption of limited international flights.

Latin America has twice the plant life of Africa, SE Asia (09 Sep 2020 20:29:42 +0000)
- Latin America has more than twice as many plant species as tropical Africa and Southeast Asia and accounts for about a third of global biological diversity, concludes a new study published today in the journal Science Advances.
- Using botanical databases, researchers led Missouri Botanical Garden President Emeritus Peter Raven by found Latin America has 118,308 known species of vascular plants, the Afrotropical region has 56,451, and Southeast Asia has about 50,000.
- Latin America and the Afrotropical region are roughly equivalent in size, meaning that the Americas south of the Mexico-U.S. border have about twice the richness of species on a per-unit basis. But Southeast Asia, which is only a quarter the size of the other two regions, takes the biodiversity crown in terms of the density of species.
- The authors say that their research will be helpful in prioritizing conservation efforts, but that future data collection will be increasingly challenged by rapid habitat loss.

Madagascar introduces stoves that burn rice husks instead of forests (02 Sep 2020 12:07:49 +0000)
- Madagascar’s dependence on fuelwood is contributing significantly to the island’s deforestation.
- To meet demand, charcoal suppliers even take wood from protected areas and dig up tree stumps.
- A program aimed at changing wood consumption habits to alleviate pressure on both forests and household budgets is distributing new stoves that burn rice husks instead of charcoal.
- One million tons of rice husks go to waste in Madagascar each year. The program aims to turn this surplus into a biofuel that is cheaper and more sustainable than wood.

Madagascar giant frog is a new species, but also a deep-fried delicacy (01 Sep 2020 07:30:35 +0000)
- Two species of giant frog in the genus Mantidactylus from Madagascar have attracted researchers’ attention for their very large size, reaching body lengths of more than 10 centimeters, or 4 inches.
- A new genetic study has revealed the existence of a third species unknown until now: Mantidactylus radaka.
- The number of scientifically accepted Madagascan frog species now stands at 362 and many other species remain to be discovered.
- Scientists recommend further studies to evaluate the conservation status of giant frog habitats and species.

Ex-Wall Street ‘quant’ wields data to replant charred Madagascar rainforests (31 Aug 2020 11:49:56 +0000)
- After retiring early from a career as a quantitative analyst for stock portfolios worth billions of dollars, Matt Hill started a nonprofit to restore rainforest in eastern Madagascar.
- Applying the data skills he honed in his former career, Hill is working out better ways to regrow rainforest burned accidentally or for agriculture.
- Although few projects have adopted that kind of approach, it is gaining approval among reforestation experts internationally.
- They say reforestation can have far greater success if practitioners develop an evidence base to guide which tree species to plant, where and when to plant them, and how to grow them.

This collection of nature photos from Madagascar is part of Mongabay's library of 150,000-plus images. Other images may be available beyond those displayed on this page.

To find additional images, you can use our Advanced search function to query the database by country, tag, country-tag combination, etc.