Madagascar from space Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency gives us a look at Madagascar from space.
Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is located off the east coast of Africa and has a population of around 25 million. The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission takes us over Madagascar.
Since its split from the African continent over 160 million years ago, this region has acquired some of the world’s most unique species and ecosystems, including extensive coral reef systems. These mountainous areas are etched with distinctive erosional features known as lavakas, the Malagasy word for “hole.”
Deforestation poses a major threat to these remarkable species, as does the illegal wildlife trade. The waters are often a rusty red due to heavy loads of suspended sediment. Upon meeting the president of Madagascar, one astronaut is said to have joked: “Oh, yes, I know your country.
Since the island has been geographically isolated from Africa and other landmasses for roughly 90 million years, it is known for species that are found nowhere else in the world.
This image was captured on August 7, 2018 by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission. Dense vegetation is deep green. Along coastlines and on the islands, the vegetation is predominantly mangrove forests. In fact, Bombetoka Bay is home to some of Madagascar’s largest remaining communities of mangroves, which provide shelter for diverse mollusk and crustacean communities, as well as habitat for sea turtles, birds, and dugongs.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: The European Space Agency