Global Perspectives on River Conservation: Science, Policy, and Practice

By P. J. Boon; B. R. Davies et al. | Go to book overview

8
River conservation in Madagascar

J.P. Benstead, M.L.J. Stiassny, P.V. Loiselle, K.J. Riseng and N. Raminosoa


Introduction

Madagascar’s extraordinary biological heritage makes the island one of the highest priorities for international conservation efforts. This ‘microcontinent’ is one of the 12 ‘megadiversity countries’ which together harbour 70% of the world’s plant and animal species (McNeeley et al., 1990). Its long isolation has resulted in the adaptive radiation of many groups and a correspondingly high level of endemism. Approximately 90% of the island’s species are found nowhere else (Battistini and Richard–Vindard, 1972; Jolly et al., 1984; International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources/United Nations Environment Programme/World Wildlife Fund – IUCN/UNEP/WWF, 1987; Nicoll and Langrand, 1989). Many of these taxa either belong to relic lineages that exist elsewhere only in the fossil record (Wright, 1997) or are basal representatives of their respective clades (Stiassny and DePinna, 1994; Stiassny and Raminosoa, 1994). Despite its biological riches, however, Madagascar is the 10th poorest nation in the world (Economist Intelligence Unit – EIU, 1994). Poverty, combined with a 3% population growth rate, has forced the country and its inhabitants into a familiar spiral of environmental degradation that is characterized by extensive deforestation and severe soil erosion (Jolly and Jolly, 1984; EIU, 1994). These processes are destroying Madagascar’s unique environments and driving many species to extinction.

Despite their high degree of vulnerability, the island’s biota and habitats remain poorly known. This is particularly true of the island’s river and stream ecosystems. As a result, the island’s endemic and highly threatened riverine biota are not being included in current conservation efforts. In addition, decisions relating to ecosystem protection and the design of nature reserves historically have not been made from a watershed perspective. Consequently, there is an urgent need for consideration of freshwater ecosystems and biota to be integrated into future conservation planning (Reinthal and Stiassny, 1991; Stiassny and Raminosoa, 1994).

Efforts to conserve Madagascar’s river ecosystems face immediate and daunting challenges. First, many of the island’s rivers have been severely affected by deforestation, subsequent erosion and sedimentation, the spread of exotic fish species, and overfishing. Restoration or rehabilitation of these damaged systems would be a monumental task. Second, those rivers on the island that are still relatively undisturbed are threatened with similar fates. The factors that are driving these changes include human population growth, a dwindling resource base, and a struggling economy (Jolly and Jolly, 1984). Third, information is a prerequisite to successful conservation. As outlined above, very little is known about Madagascar’s river ecosystems.

The main goal of this chapter is to draw together the sparse and disparate literature pertaining to river conservation in Madagascar. We concentrate on the data and information sources that are available and identify major gaps in an attempt to encourage more interest and research in the region. For example, our discussion of the river biota and its conservation status is biased towards the endemic fish fauna; other taxa are

-205-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Global Perspectives on River Conservation: Science, Policy, and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 550

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.