New Species Classified in Madagascar

brown tailed mongooseA new species was classified in the African nation of Madagascar. The new species became one of only two species of the genus salanoia.

Salanoia Durrelli was first observed in 2004. It however looked very similar to the brown-tailed mongoose (pictured), which is the other species in the genus, scientifically named salanoia concolor.

Salanoia Durrelli is described to be a carnivorous mammal. It is only found in the Lac Alaotra area of Madagascar. It is characterized with broad feet with prominent pads, reddish buff underparts, and broad, robust teeth. In two weighed specimens, body mass was 600 and 675 g (21 and 24 oz). It is a marsh-dwelling animal that may feed on crustaceans and mollusks.

The new species doesn’t still have a conservation status. However, it is probable that it will be classified as endangered due to threatened habitat, competition with introduced species and since Lac Alaotra is a declared protected area.

The brown tailed mongoose is also found only in Madagascar. It is currently categorized as threatened vulnerable due to habitat loss.

Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, has an endemic fauna making some ecologists name the country as the eighth continent of the planet. Of the 10,000 plants native to Madagascar, 90% are found nowhere else in the world.