Pachypodiums in Madagascar

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Much has been written in recent years about the wealth of flora on the large island of Madagascar, the future decline of which seems ordained by overpopulation and the poverty connected with this. Particularly alarming are the deep-rooted traditions, such as slash and burn farming, uneconomic cultivation, and even the all-destroying excessive livestock breeding. These factors contribute to irrevocable and permanent soil erosion and the loss of a wealth of irreplaceable flora. For all these reasons it is highly gratifying that many years of effort on the part of Walter Röösli, with the support of a handful of Malagasy and Swiss enthusiasts, has now paid off with the publication of this strikingly beautiful book about the endemic members of the genus Pachypodium on the Big Red Island. (John Lavranos)