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Madagascar Map

May 7, 2008

Scientists have produced an incredibly detailed species map of Madagascar to target prime areas for conservation.


Protecting a hotbed of biodiversity. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, teems with an incredible variety of wildlife. Now, scientists have mapped the home ranges of over two thousand species across the whole island. The goal is to target key habitats for immediate conservation. Program director Helen Crowley of the Wildlife Conservation Society says they’re working closely with Madagascar’s government, which has pledged to triple the area of its protected lands.

HELEN CROWLEY (Wildlife Conservation Society):
In the six million hectares that we’ve been allocated by the government, we can actually achieve nearly 100 percent conservation of species.

While the model doesn’t include all life on the island, that’s still a remarkable feat – made possible only by scrutinizing the map down to the square kilometer, and calculating exactly how to allocate protected land to save the most species. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.