Madagascar's 'treasure trove' of new species: A slideshow
Scientists discover 41 new mammals, 69 amphibians, and hundreds of heretofore-unknown plants on this "jewel" of an African island
A male Furcifer timoni chameleon Patrick Schonecker/WWF Madagascar

Madagascar's diverse ecosystem proves that nature still holds plenty of secrets. After a decade of research, conservationists with the World Wildlife Fund have identified 615 new species, including 42 invertebrates, 61 reptiles, 69 amphibians, 17 fish, 385 plants, and 41 mammals. The island's isolation, combined with its unique geography — which includes mountains and rain forests — has enabled the country to act as a petri dish in which species evolve and adapt. The subtropical island is a "jewel" of biodiversity, but because of ongoing industrialization, natural habitats are tenuous, and survival rates are low. Indeed, many of the recently-discovered species could be in danger. Here, a look at eight new species that make Madagascar a "treasure trove" for conservationists.




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