Facts About Madagascar

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Located on the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is known for its remarkable ecological diversity. After Greenland, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island. It got separated from Africa approximately 165 million years ago. Nature has been generous to Madagascar and it has a multitude of different species of plants and animals which are not found anywhere else around the globe.

Listed below are few informative facts about Madagascar:

1) Demographics:
Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar and it sustains a population of 2 million people. The official languages followed by the inhabitants of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. According to latest statistics, Madagascar has a total population of 22 million people (census report of July 2013).

2) History:
Madagascar’s official name is the Republic of Madagascar. Africans and Asians were the first inhabitants of Madagascar. Later on, Madagascar became home to 12 different ethnic groups. Close observation reveal that people residing in central highlands of Madagascar have a tinge of Asian color in their features, while those residing in coastal areas have features similar to Africans.

From 1895 to 1960, Madagascar was under the French rule. It attained full independence in 1960. In 1975, Madagascar emerged as the Democratic Republic of Madagascar and it became the Republic of Madagascar in 1993.

3) Ecological Biodiversity:
Madagascar is one of the 17 megadiverse countries of the world. Madagascar thrives in ecological biodiversity. Its diverse and unique ecology has earned Madagascar the title of eighth continent of the world by some scientists.

4) Fauna
Amongst the 250, 000 wildlife species that have been discovered till date, Madagascar is home to 70% of them. Madagascar is the only country which breeds the lemur. According to the statistics of 2012, Madagascar is home to 103 species of the lemur. Lemur has been classified as an endangered species, at the verge of extinction.

5) Flora:
Not only Madagascar has unique fauna, it also excels in floral biodiversity. Madagascar has an estimated 14000 plant species and 90% of them are only found in Madagascar and nowhere else around the globe.

6) Economy:
Madagascar is basically an agricultural country and a major contribution to the revenue is made by the export of fruits and vegetables. Madagascar isn’t an economically stable country and is rather a relatively poor country with 70 percent of its population not being able to meet the national poverty line threshold i.e. $1 per day.

7) Major Exports:
Major population of the country earns its living through farming and agriculture. Madagascar is one of the major exporters of vanilla and cloves. It also produces and exports coffee, shrimps and lychees in huge proportions. Madagascar is one of the major suppliers of sapphires. It also excels in the formation and export of several other precious stones.

8) Coral Reefs
Madagascar has been blessed with the 3rd largest system of coral reefs globally. The coral reef has been named as the Toliara coral reef and is located at the south-western coast. According to some recent findings, Madagascar showed much higher coral diversity in comparison to that seen in any East African state or Red Sea.

9) National Sports:
Rugby is the national sports of Madagascar. Howbeit, football is quite popular among the residents of the country.

10) Traditional Pastimes:
Moriangy which is a hand-to-hand combat and tolon-omby (a traditional wrestling of zebu cattle) are traditional pastimes of Madagascans.  They are popular among the regional areas of Madagascar. Fanorona is another specialty of Madagascar. It is a popular board game played by Madagascans.

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