A dizzying range of plants and animals make their home on the island. More than 11,000 endemic plant species, including seven species of baobab tree, share the island with a vast variety of mammal, reptiles, amphibians, and others. From 1999 to 2010, scientists discovered 615 new species in Madagascar, including 41 mammals and 61 reptiles.
Madagascar has several critically threatened species including the Silky Sifaka, a lemur, which is one of the rarest mammals on earth. Its name—“angel of the forest"—refers to its white fur. Another threatened species, the rare Ploughshare tortoise, is found only in a small area of northwestern Madagascar where as few as 1,000 of these animals survive. Ploughshare tortoises can be sold illegally for up to $200,000 on exotic pet markets.