Madagascar endemic animal species
Madagascar is known for her unique fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The unique animals that are found in the different Parks around the Island of Madagascar have made it become one of the best destinations in the world since they are all endemic to the Island. The combination of all these endemic animal species make it a paradise and a fun trip. There are many endemic animal species and some of the most common ones include the following
The Tomato frog
The tomato frog can be found in the swampy areas around Madagascar. They are referred to as the tomato frogs due to their reddish orange color that resembles a tomato and this applies to the female ones and when it comes to the male ones, these have a reddish brown color and this is how you can tell them apart. They mostly feed on insects and other small animals and these are attacked in a unique way. They sit dormant in a specific position where they cannot easily be seen and give a surprise ambush to the prey. They are considered poisonous because they release a sticky fluid which chases away whatever wants to attack them.
The Indri is part of the Lemur family and it is the largest lemur in Madagascar. They mostly move from one tree to the next and they can be found in the rain forests that are located in the Eastern Part of the country. Due to their long legs and wide feet, they can jump between trees that are thirty meters apart because they can firmly hold themselves.
The Indris weighs up to 10 kilograms and is considered as one of the protected animals on the Island due to the fact that they are becoming extinct. As a way of communication, they make a lot of noise to each other and this noise can be heard miles away. The Indri also live in groups of four to eight and there is always one male who leads all the groups.
The Aye-aye can be found in the forests that are along the coast of Madagascar. They can mostly be seen at night due to their nocturnal nature and considered one of the most endangered species in the country. Their dark brown color, long thin nails and big shiny eyes makes most people to kill them on sight as they are scary to look at. They hunt at night and feed on honey, insects, larvae, fruits plus any other type of food that they can find. They use their long clawed hands to move from one tree to the next, move over 4 kilometers in search of food and use their wide ears to listen to danger and while in search of food. The reason as to why they are reaching a point of extinction is that they are being killed on sight due to their scary nature and yet they are quite harmless.
The Panther chameleon
The panther chameleon which is as big as a cat and over 20 inches long is one of the largest chameleons in the world habituating in the North western and central parts of Madagascar especially in the forests that are located in those specific areas. When it comes to telling which panther chameleon is male and female, color is mostly used as the males have bright colors as compared to the females and they all come in different shades of green red, blue, striped or orange.
The female chameleon panthers turn a shade lighter only during breeding whereas the male change their color while defending themselves after sensing danger or during breeding and the change of color is always done at a faster rate as compared to other chameleons. There are other conditions that affect the color changing of the Panther chameleon and these include the temperature, emotions of the chameleon and light.
The giraffe weevil
The giraffe weevil is commonly known because of its long neck, black shell and tiny legs. It can be found in many forests of Madagascar and they live on trees where they build their nests for resting and they are still many because they are hardly hunted down by any predator. The neck of the giraffe weevil ia about 2.5 centimeters although the neck of the males is three times longer than that of the female weevil and this makes them the largest weevils in the weevil family.
The giraffe weevil defends its self by using the red shell and its hind legs and this is mostly done when they are fighting other males in the mating season. Their long necks are also for building of the nests and this is done by the male giraffe weevil.
The Sifaka is also part of the Lemur family although it is not as large as the Indri and more attractive to look at. The sifakas can usually be found in groups of six to ten living in trees and they normally feed on bugs, fruits and leaves and they weigh up to almost six kilograms which allows them to easily jump from one tree to the next.
The sifakas come in different shades that is black, grey, white and gold and there are three types of Sifakas that are found in Madagascar. These are the diademed Sifaka, the golden Sifaka and the Coquerel Sifaka. They are also endangered species due to the cutting down of trees by the locals but they are protected by the government.
The satanic leaf tailed gecko
This is a nocturnal animal are masters of color changing and that is why it is nearly impossible to spot one especially if they sit in one place without moving. The gecko can also be identified using the vein shaped structures that are found on top of its skin and this helps it camouflage its looks to resemble a withered leaf. They are endemic to Madagascar, about 15 centimeters long and come in different colors like yellow, grey, brown, orange and many more others. The satanic leaf tailed gecko rests during the day and then comes out during the night.
The satanic gecko is known to either open it smooth wide which is red in color or change color and this distracts its predators enabling it to escape easily.
The Fossa is the only carnivore on the Island and it normally feeds on the Lemur leading to it being endangered. The fossa have a red to brown coating and a very long tail which makes them to be easily distinguished from the rest and they weigh over ten kilograms and rise to over six feet. Unlike other animals found in Madagascar, the Fossa walks like humans using its hind legs and this has given it enough stability when it is jumping from one tree to the next.
The Fossa also jumps from one tree to the next and hunts both during the day and night which puts the already endangered lemur into more extinction. They feed on lizards, frogs, birds and they use their long sharp claws and teeth to tear into their prey pretty quickly ending their life. Although with the increasing the deforestation in the country, the Fossa is also becoming extinct because they no longer have where to stay.
The Madagascar Pochard
The Madagascar Pochard can be seen on the waters of Madagascar and was believed to be extinct until some were found floating away in the country. They are still endemic in Madagascar and in order to be able to identify them properly they have a grey beak, white to cream belly and their wings are brown to a reddish color. It is becoming more hard to spot due to the scarcity of food where it lives but you will still be able to see a few of the Pochard ducks swimming away on most fresh waters around Madagascar.
The Brookesia chameleon
The Brookesia chameleon is the smallest chameleon with a length of only 33 millimeters, found in Madagascar and it can be seen around the different parks in the trees, rocks and many more other places especially on leaves. They hide from their predators by acting dead which makes them look like dead fallen leaves. They usually feed on small insects that they capture with their tongues.
The Blue Coua
Madagascar has many bird species that amount to over 250 and most of these are endemic and one of the best birds that you should look out for is the Blue Coua. The Blue Coua belongs to the cuckoo family and is about 17 inches long, blue in color like the name suggests and extremely pretty to look at. Note that the blue they have alternates between a darker shade and a lighter shade of blue.
They build their own nests and lay one egg during the breeding and surprisingly they sit on their eggs until they reach the hatching process.