Top critical review
18 people found this helpful
Beautiful but Basic Overview
on 1 June 2007
This book is certainly very pretty, with excellent photographs.
It is also thin and light-weight, and does cover a little bit of everything: habitats, recommended sites to visit, mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.
As such, it is an inspiring read, and probably the best single-volume book to carry for those who only have a superficial interest in Madagadcar's unique wildlife.
However, for more serious naturalists the information it offers is far too limited. Even mammals, the best detailed group, are only discussed down to genus level, neither mentioning nor illustrating all or even most species. Birds receive a token coverage of 10 pages, and reptiles fare little better.
Even the descriptions of nature reserves can be found in the more recent, excellent and complete field guides to the "Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide" which actually tells you where to spot every single species separately, and the similarly brilliant "Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands" which not only covers all the birds of Madagascar, but those of neighbouring islands too, along with recommended birdwatching sites. Fans of herpetofauna should try and get hold of "A Field Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Madagascar".
If you buy any of the above field guides, you will find this book a waste of money - I did.