Indoor Meetings about Birds and Wildlife

Madagascar - Land of the Lemurs
by Dr Peter Gasson

Date: Thursday 21 November 2019 at 19:30

Long-tailed Ground RollerLong-tailed Ground Roller


Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island (587,000 km², behind Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo). More than 80% of Madagascar’s animals and plants are endemic. These include most of the flowering plants, birds and chameleons and all of the lemurs. The island separated from mainland Africa around 165 million years ago and around 80 million years ago India, which had remained attached, drifted away.

Madagascar Harrier-Hawk Purple Heron
Madagascar Harrier-Hawk      Purple Heron


I visited the island in July 2009 with two friends. We explored the rainforest in Perinet/ Mantadia and Ranomafana and a few places on the road to the spiny forest near Tulear in the southwest. We then flew via Tananarivo up to Majunga to visit the Ampijoroa Forest Reserve/Ankarafantsika NP and the mangroves at Betsiboka Delta. Fearing that our flight back from Majung to Tana would be long-delayed, we made the ten hour road journey to ensure we didn’t miss our flight back to Paris.

Coquerel's Sifaka Green-capped Coua
Coquerel's Sifaka Green-capped Coua


Dr Peter Gasson's Bio

Peter Gasson is a plant scientist at Kew Gardens, specialising in wood structure, various tree related subjects and timber identification. He has a BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Botany from Reading University and a PhD in Botany/Timber Technology from Imperial College. He is an avid wildlife photographer and travelled naturalist. He has visited many parts of the world in pursuit of animals and plants.

Cryptic Chameleon Bernier's Teals
Cryptic Chameleon Bernier's Teals


All pictures are © Copyright. Do not reproduce without permission from Dr Peter Gasson.

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