Portal:Madagascar

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Madagascar, or Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic, French: République malgache), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are endemic to Madagascar. They include the lemur infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa, three bird families and six baobab species. Two thirds of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

As part of East Gondwana, the territory of Madagascar split from Africa approximately 160 million years ago; the island of Madagascar was created when it separated from the Indian subcontinent 80 to 100 million years ago. Most archaeologists estimate that the human settlement of Madagascar happened between 200 and 500 A.D., when seafarers from southeast Asia (probably from Borneo or the southern Celebes) arrived in outrigger sailing canoes. Bantu settlers probably crossed the Mozambique Channel to Madagascar at about the same time or shortly afterwards. However, Malagasy tradition and ethnographic evidence suggests that they may have been preceded by the Mikea hunter gatherers. The Anteimoro who established a kingdom in Southern Madagascar in the Middle Ages trace their origin to migrants from Somalia.

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Rice fields
Credit: Bernard Gagnon

Rice fields near Ambalandingana, Madagascar.

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Gray Mouse Lemur 1.JPG

The Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a small lemur, a type of strepsirrhine primate, found only on the island of Madagascar. Weighing 58 to 67 grams (2.0 to 2.4 oz), it is the largest of the mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus), a group which include the smallest primates in the world. The species is named for its mouse-like size and coloration and is known locally (in Malagasy) as Tsidy, Koitsiky, Titilivaha, Pondiky, and Vakiandry. Nearly indistinguishable from each other by appearance, the Gray Mouse Lemur and all other mouse lemurs are considered cryptic species. For this reason, the Gray Mouse Lemur was considered the only mouse lemur species for decades until more recent studies began to distinguish between the species.

Like all mouse lemurs, this species is nocturnal and arboreal. It is very active, and although it forages alone, groups of males and females will form sleeping groups and share tree holes during the day. It exhibits a form of dormancy called torpor during the cool, dry winter months, and in some cases undergoes seasonal torpor (or hibernation), which is unusual for primates. The Gray Mouse Lemur can be found in several types of forest throughout western and southern Madagascar. (Read more...)

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Hat Madagascar.jpg
Credit: Bernard Gagnon

Woman with hat near Toliara, Madagascar.

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Bombing of Tamatave.


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Wikinews Madagascar portal
  • January 24: Wikinews interviews Aurélien Miralles about Sirenoscincus mobydick species discovery
  • April 7: At least fourteen dead after eating toxic fish in Madagascar
  • May 13: Madagascar's leader Andry Rajoelina 'will not run in polls'
  • March 6: Somali pirates seize tanker off coast of Madagascar
  • December 21: Madagascar leader names army officer as prime minister
  • November 7: Madagascar political rivals agree to unity government deal
  • March 22: Madagascar's former opposition leader sworn in as president
  • March 17: Madagascar President resigns, unclear rule in Antananarivo
  • March 16: Coup in Madagascar; opposition leader backs army
  • July 14: 13 missing from ship off coast of Madagascar; two rescued

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Marc Ravalomanana (born December 12, 1949, in Imerinkasinina) is a Malagasy politician who was the President of Madagascar from 2002 to 2009. A member of the Merina ethnic group, Ravalomanana served as Mayor of Antananarivo before becoming President in 2002. He took office as President amidst a dispute over the results of the December 2001 presidential election in which he successfully pressed his claim to have won a majority in the first round. He was re-elected in December 2006, again with a majority in the first round.

In the municipal elections held on November 14, 1999, Ravalomanana was elected as mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, receiving 45% of the vote and defeating former Prime Minister Guy Willy Razanamasy. As mayor he was credited with successfully cleaning up the capital. He announced on August 5, 2001 that he would run for President in the election to be held later that year on December 16; two months later, polls showed him to be ahead of the incumbent president, Didier Ratsiraka.

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