Madagascar spiny thickets

WWF Abstract

The spiny deserts of Madagascar are stunningly beautiful and filled with amazing plants and animals. There is little shade here, and the impenetrable spiny thickets impede exploration, but a visitor here will be rewarded by the sight of bizarre and elaborate plant forms, all adapted to the harsh conditions of this dry climate. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and has been isolated from mainland Africa for at least 150 million years. This prolonged isolation has led to the evolution of an extremely diverse assemblage of endemic plants and animals. For example, some 85 percent of the 12,000 species of flowering plants in Madagascar are endemic. And while the island of Madagascar is famous for its endemic biodiversity, the Madagascar Spiny Thickets ecoregion is absolutely astounding in that regard, with almost 100 percent of the plant species here found nowhere else. This high concentration of endemic species extends to animals as well, from the spider tortoise to the narrow-striped mongoose to five species of primates, including the ring-tailed lemur and the sifaka.
Read more: View WWF Report
Ecozone:Afrotropic
Biome:Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Countries:Madagascar
Area:10,943,998 acres (4,428,879 hectares)
Species:All  Endangered  Invasive
Climate:View Climate Data
Land Use:View Land Use Data

Protected Areas

Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andohahela National Park
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER