These plants and animals constitute an extraordinary diversity, writes science journalist Peter Tyson in this engaging book, and the island's richness of life has long intrigued scientists, who have proposed several theories to explain it. Those scientists, some of whom Tyson profiles at work in the field, are racing against time to catalogue island life before it disappears, for Madagascar's human population is rapidly growing, and with it the island's forests and other habitats are falling. The urgency may abate, Tyson writes with guarded optimism, now that the island's current president has proposed that all of Madagascar be considered as a United Nations World Heritage Site, which would help provide funds to prevent further loss of habitat and diversity. Though this proposal is not without its controversial aspect, Tyson makes a good case for why it should be taken up--and he shows just how high the stakes are.
Throughout his narrative, Tyson mixes scientific reportage with a nicely rendered travelogue that guides readers across the island while outlining key concepts of island biography and conservation biology. His book makes for a worthy companion to David Quammen's Song of the Dodo, and valuable reading for anyone concerned with the world environment. --Gregory McNamee
This book makes you feel like your on the trip through Madagascar with the author. Very detailed and explanatory.
Very fun to read!
I'm a huge Madagascar fan and finiding books on one of my favorite places is a rare treat for me - this book is no exception. Read morePublished on July 6 2001
This book does what only the best narrative non-fiction can do, it takes us to places where we'll never go and fascinates us with tales of subjects that we never knew we cared... Read morePublished on June 14 2000