An impressive fauna indeed! With 80 million years of independent evolution, talking about Madagascar, considered one of the "biodiversity hotspots", is talking about endemics.

'Of Madagascar I can say to naturalists that it is truly their promised land. The Nature seems to have retreated into a private sanctuary to work on models other than those she has created elsewhere. At every step one encounters the most strange and marvellous forms.' J. Philibert Commerson, 1771

During our stay in Madagascar, we saw 15 endemic mammal species, 6 chameleons, and (including the brief stop in Mauritius) 82 birds of which 47 endemics.




From the largest one, the indri, to the tiny mouse lemurs... these primates evolved in complete isolation in Madagascar and are all endemic to the island! During our stay, we managed to see 13 different species.

Alaotran gentle lemur
Hapalemur alaotrensis
(Alaotra)
Golden bamboo lemur
Hapalemur aureus
(Ranomafana NP)
Greater bamboo lemur
Prolemur simus
(Ranomafana NP)
Diademed sifaka
Propithecus diadema
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Indri
Indri indri
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Indri
Indri indri
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Common brown lemur
Eulemur fulvus
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Common brown lemur
Eulemur fulvus
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Ring-tailed lemur
Lemur catta
(Anja reserve)
Verreaux's sifaka
Propithecus verreauxi
(Isalo NP)
Verreaux's sifaka
Propithecus verreauxi
(Isalo NP)
Black and white ruffed lemur
Varecia variegata
(Ranomafana NP)
Small-toothed sportive lemur
Lepilemur microdon
(Ranomafana NP)
Eastern woolly lemur (or aliens??)
Avahi laniger
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Brown mouse lemur
Microcebus rufus
(Ranomafana NP)


340 reptile species, over 90% of them endemic to Madagascar. And that includes half the species of chameleons of the world, from the largest species (Parson's chameleon) to the smallest ones (genus Brookesia), just a few milimetres long!

Short-horned chameleon
Calumma brevicornis?
(Ranomafana NP)
Young chameleon
Calumma gastrotaenia?
(Ranomafana NP)
Carpet chameleon
Furcifer lateralis
(Alaotra)
Oustalet's chameleon
Furcifer oustaleti
(Alaotra)
Parson's chameleon
Calumma parsonii
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Chameleon
Furcifer sp?
(Isalo NP)
Three-eyed lizard
Chalarodon madagascariensis
(Ifaty beach)
Big-headed gecko
Paroedura picta
(Ifaty)
Day gecko
Phelsuma sp
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Madagascar tree boa
Sanzinia madagascariensis
(Alaotra)
Snake
Family Colubridae
(Isalo NP)
Rainforest frog
(Ranomafana NP)
A frog with a nice grass camouflage
(Alaotra)
Little frog
(Anja reserve)
Little frog
(Anja reserve)


Madagascar does not harbour many species of birds, but they're a rare bunch: over half of the breeding species are endemic. In Mauritius, during a day visit to one of the few remaining pockets of native forest at the Black River gorges national park, we managed to see a pink pigeon and a few echo parakeets, two of the island endemics that were recently brought back from the brink of extinction!

Benson's rock thrush
Monticola bensoni
(Isalo NP)
Striated heron
Butorides striatus
(Botanical gardens, Mauritius)
Echo parakeet
Psittacula echo
(Black River gorges NP, Mauritius)
Village weaver
Ploceus cucullatus
(Botanical gardens, Mauritius)
Madagascar turtle dove
Streptopelia picturata
(Botanical gardens, Mauritius)
White-throated rail
Dryolimnas cuvieri
(Alaotra)
Madagascar fody
Foudia madagascariensis
(Alaotra)
Madagascar kingfisher
Corythornis vintsioides
(Alaotra)
Madagascar coucal
Centropus toulou
(Alaotra)
White-fronted plover
Charadrius marginatus
(Ifaty beach)
Knob-billed duck
Sarkidiornis melanotos
(Alaotra)
Crested drongo
Dicrurus forficatus
(Alaotra)


Some bugs and a few (big!) spiders...

Wolf spider?
Family Lycosidae
(Alaotra house)
Thorn spider
Subfamily Gasteracanthinae
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Golden orb-web spider
Nephila madagascariensis
(everywhere!)
Spider
(Andasibe-Mantadia NP)
Green lynx spider
Peucetia madagascariensis
(Alaotra)
Bush-cricket
Family Tettigoniidae
(Alaotra)
Grasshopper
(Alaotra)
Grasshopper
(Alaotra)
Well camouflaged grasshopper
(Alaotra)
Grasshopper
(Alaotra)
Grasshopper
(Alaotra)
Grasshopper
(Isalo NP)
Dragonfly close-up
(Alaotra)
Dragonfly
(Alaotra)
Dragonfly
(Alaotra)
Dragonfly eating dragonfly
(Alaotra)
Mantis
(Alaotra)
Bug... a big one!
Family Pentatomidae
(Alaotra)
Dung beetle
(Alaotra)
Ladybug
(Ranomafana NP)
Moth
(Ranomafana NP)