Environmental change, extinction and human activity: evidence from caves in NW Madagascar

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Environmental change, extinction and human activity: evidence from caves in NW Madagascar
Series Title:
Journal of Biogeography
Creator:
Burney, David
James, Helen
Grady, Frederick
Rafamantanantsoa, Jean-Gervais
Ramilisonina
Wright, Henry T.
Cowart, James
Publisher:
Blackwell Science, Ltd
Publication Date:
Language:
English/French

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Madagascar ( local )
Extinctions ( local )
Human Impacts ( local )
Caves ( local )
Paleobiogeography ( local )
Les Disparitions ( local )
Les Impactes Humains ( local )
Les Grottes ( local )
Paléobiogéographie ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
In the last 2000 years, changes on the island of Madagascar have resulted in the modification of key environments and the extinction of nearly all large native animals. Humans have long been suspected as the primary cause of this ecological catastrophe, but the exact mechanisms of the island's rapid transformation and the role of natural factors such as climate change remain uncertain. Caves in northwestern Madagascar are helping researchers to disentangle these factors, by providing many types of datable information concerning the past in close physical proximity. U‐series dated pollen spectra from the caverns of Anjohibe provide a 40,000‐year record of vegetation in the vicinity. Bone deposits from caves in the region provide new site records for extinct taxa, including Babakotia radofilai Godfrey et al. 1990, Plesiorycteropus madagascariensis Filhol 1895, and Mullerornis sp. Several extant taxa that were present in the region in the late Holocene are now locally extinct. Archaeological evidence from the caves suggests little or no human activity in the vicinity or interaction with the fauna at these sites until recent centuries.
Original Version:
Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 24, no. 6 (2003-10-31).

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University of South Florida Library
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