Separated from Africa's mainland for tens of millions of years, Madagascar has evolved a breathtaking wealth of biodiversity, becoming home to thousands of species found nowhere else on the planet. The New Natural History of Madagascar provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date synthesis available of this island nation's priceless biological treasures. A fully revised and expanded edition of The Natural History of Madagascar, this beautifully illustrated compendium features contributions by more than 600 globally renowned experts who cover the history of scientific exploration in Madagascar, the island's geology and soils, climate, forest ecology, human ecology, marine and coastal ecosystems, plants, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. This invaluable two-volume reference also includes detailed discussions of conservation efforts in Madagascar that showcase several successful protected area programs that can serve as models for threatened ecosystems throughout the world.
- Provides the most comprehensive overview of Madagascar’s rich natural history
- Coedited by 18 different specialists
- Features hundreds of new contributions by world-class experts
- Includes hundreds of new illustrations
- Covers a broad array of topics, from geology and climate to animals, plants, and marine life
- Sheds light on newly discovered species and draws on the latest science
- An essential resource for anyone interested in Madagascar or tropical ecosystems in general, from biologists and conservationists to ecotourists and armchair naturalists
Steven M. Goodman is the MacArthur Field Biologist at the Field Museum of Natural History, a cofounder of Association Vahatra in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and Professor Honoris Causa at the University of Antananarivo. He has authored or coauthored close to 600 publications concerning different aspects of Madagascar.
Reviews of the first edition:
"A truly amazing work. I can think of no other account of the natural history of a country that even comes close. A historic achievement."
– Russell A. Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer at Re:wild, coauthor of Lemurs of Madagascar
"A reference of fundamental importance for those of us concerned with biology and conservation in what is probably the most interesting island in the world."
– Peter H. Raven, author of Driven by Nature: A Personal Journey from Shanghai to Botany and Global Sustainability
"The most thorough and comprehensive account of the natural history of Madagascar yet, and it will set the standard for many years to come."
– BBC Wildlife Magazine
"Sprinkled with colour photographs, The Natural History of Madagascar is an extraordinary compendium, complete and complex. Steven Goodman and Jonathan Benstead cover geological and human histories, as well as all major groups of animals and plants [...] The introductory chapters for each of the major taxonomic groups will help to guide the novice reader into the glories and safely past the specialist shoals [...] This wonderful book provides a magnificent overview of one of the strangest and most glorious chunks of the planet – a place that is so much more than a load of old lemurs."
– Adrian Barnett, New Scientist
" [...] spectacular images [...] "
– Harold Henderson, Chicago Reader
"In The Natural History of Madagascar researchers have captured the recent explosion of scientific knowledge about the unique organisms of this rugged island. In 1,700 pages, the book moves from the broad brush strokes of the island's geological history to detailed accounts of its organisms, including its famous aye-aye lemurs, its fantastical baobab trees, and its twelve-foot-tall elephant bird."
– Carol Kaesuk Yoon, The New York Times
"For those who are serious about getting to know this fascinating island, there is no better resource than The Natural History of Madagascar. It is the closest thing to a comprehensive natural history of the region ever produced."
– Tim Flannery, Nature
"Given the severe threats facing the survival of Madagascar's biodiversity, this book could not have come at a better time [...] Its accessible language and thorough coverage of the topics, in combination with its affordable price, ensures that The Natural History of Madagascar will become an indispensable resource and educational tool for all those with an interest in Madagascar."
– Summer J. Arrigo-Nelson, Quarterly Review of Biology
"A scientific milestone and by far the largest synthesis of tropical biology research ever."
"A vast and comprehensive work that will be a key reference on the country's biodiversity for years to come. It will also stand testament to the future efforts of conservationists to protect the island's unique natural heritage."
– The Economist
"For anyone interested in the botany of Madagascar, I would strongly recommend this book. It contains a vast amount of information on the flora of the island and is also a major source of references to literature on the Madagascan flora."
– Peter V. Bruyns, Plant Systematics and Evolution
"As a resource [...] it stands alone [...] This is no neo-colonial view of the island, but a modern, integrated – both biologically and culturally – look at one of the most fascinating places on Earth [...] The book is copiously illustrated with stunning colour photographs [...] Every scientist concerned with diversity should have this book on their shelves."
– Sandra Knapp, Biological Conservation