Verreaux's sifakas at the Kirindy Forest Reserve
The forest was earlier operated as an experimental sustainable timber harvesting scheme, which has not left indelible scars on the region. Most of the canopy top is about 14 meters in height, but in wetter parts (e.g. in riparian zones) it may almost triple in vertical extent. There are three species of baobab trees present: Adansonia grandidieri, Adansonia rubrostipa and Adansonia za.
Kirindy Forest, approximately 100 square kilometres in area, may be best known as the only location where the endangered giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena) occurs. This animal can hop like a miniature kangaroo, but is also seen walking on all four limbs. There are a number of species of nocturnal lemurs present: Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (the world's smallest primate), red-tailed sportive lemur, pygmy mouse lemur, gray mouse lemur, pale fork-marked lemur, Coquerel's giant mouse lemur and the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. Further mammalian species of fossa, narrow-striped mongoose, Verreaux's sifaka, common tenrec, greater hedgehog tenrec and red-fronted brown lemur are also found here.
Some of the local reptiles present are: Labord's chameleon, various plated lizards, Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, big-headed gecko, Madagascar ground boa, giant hog-nosed snake, spear-nosed snake and kapidolo.
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