The island of Madagascar, with its unique and highly endemic flora and fauna, is a world conservation priority. Until recent years, the bats of the island were not studied in detail, but the latest research has led to the discovery of a considerable number of species previously unknown to science and revealed many details of their distribution and natural history. This pocket-sized book, written in accessible French and illustrated throughout with informative photographs and drawings of all bat species known to occur on the island, presents numerous details of Madagascar s extraordinary bat fauna. The first section provides a general introduction to these flying mammals, while the second section provides accounts of all currently recognized Malagasy species and offers insights into their ecological roles. Madagascar s fruit bats, for instance, have been found to be among the most important vertebrates on the island in the regeneration of natural forests, as they pollinate different types of plants and disperse seeds. In addition, small insectivorous species have been shown to provide a vital service because they help control agricultural pests and eat different insects that transmit diseases to humans."
Steven M. Goodman is the MacArthur Field Biologist at the Field Museum, Chicago, and he is based in Antananarivo, Madagascar. He is coeditor of "The Natural History of Madagascar "and "Atlas of Selected Land Vertebrates of Madagascar," the former published and the latter distributed by the University of Chicago Press. He is also a founding member of the Association Vahatra, a Malagasy organization dedicated to the advancement of science on Madagascar, particularly conservation education and research.
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