Madagascar to Triple Nature Reserves
Madagascar is a biological treasure trove with at least 10,000 plant species, 316 reptiles, 109 bird species and dozens of species of lemurs. Its government seeks to triple its nature reserves by the end of 2008, and has already successfully protected a million extra hectares. These reserves still fall short of requirements for terrestrial ecosystem sustainability but are amazing in the social context. In Madagascar and throughout the tropics natural areas face a growing threat from poverty and population pressure. The tropical conservation conundrum is meeting local needs while maintaining large natural areas required for their long-term survival and well-being.