Exotic and endangered: Madagascar in peril

Madagascar. There are so many delightful incongruities about the island. Despite being off the coast of Africa, because of the way the ocean currents work it was mainly settled by people from Borneo, 3,700 miles away — what Jared Diamond has described as ‘the single most astonishing fact of human geography’. For similar reasons, it is a biodiversity hotspot; more than 90 per cent of the wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. And as one of the world’s largest islands, the sheer size can make it hard to assimilate. If ‘the Republic of Madagascar’, its formal title, were stretched out across Europe, the country would reach from London to