A biological hot spot, Madagascar is home to more than 250,000 species, of which 70% are found nowhere else on the globe. This is partly because the island landscape is made up of several habitat types.
Usually hot and dry, the spiny forest is a harsh environment. Spiny thickets provide shelter to many species, while huge baobab trees rise above the landscape, their thick trunks and sparse canopy giving rise to the nickname "upside-down tree."
Needle-like pillars rise to great heights, this maze of terrain is an eroded limestone landscape dotted with sparse shrubs, abrupt cliffs and mysterious water filled caves. Called "tsingy," which comes from a Malagasy word meaning "walking on tiptoes," this harsh environment is subject to rapid changes in climate. Learn More
Rainforests in Madagascar feature towering canopy trees some 100 feet high which cast the forest floor into a permanent gloom. Bamboo thrives in the warm humid conditions as do many species of animals. Learn More
Mangroves mainly occur along the west coast of Madagascar, and are made of tangled masses of trees with saltwater channels flowing through them. Below the surface of the water, a maze of mangrove prop roots serves as a tremendously important nursery area for small fish. Learn More