Fossa

Intro


A blue sky hung over the Madagascar rainforest. There were noises of all sorts, whistles, growls, and chirps. Howls, screeches, hisses, and roaring. A brown flash bolted up a tree. It races up the tree until it disappears inside of an old tree trunk. You wonder what it was that bolted up the tree, so you decide to climb the tree and look inside. You peek in the little opening to see 3 pairs of glowing eyes staring up at you. Why it’s a family of Fossas! the biggest land predator in Madagascar!


WHERE FOSSAS LIVE

Fossas live in the beautiful island of Madagascar. Madagascar is the ONLY island that fossas inhabit, mainly because of their food sources and the climate, or weather. They are very particular about where they live, only living in the perfect tree, they will only live in rainforests and or wooded savannas as they are not as fast at running after their prey, but are extremely fast in the trees, as they use their tail like an extra arm. Fossas are one of the only species in Madagascar that are really picky about what tree they live in. They will normally only live in a tree which has a hollowed out trunk and or live in a tree with thick branches tough enough to hold their weight or a nest they could make. After mating season, when the females are pregnant, they move down to the ground and make a temporary nest normally in a large enough log to birth. After the females give birth, they will only live on the ground from the span of a month to 2 months, and move up to the tree again, but on lower branches so that if the fossa cubs fall, they will not become severely injured. Fossas will move to another tree around every month, especially after the females give birth and are ready to move up to the trees with her cubs.


WHAT FOSSAS EAT


The Fossas main food source are the Madagascar lemurs that inhabit the island. A Fossa doesn’t just eat lemurs though. They will eat small mammals, small birds, fish, lizards, frogs, and domesticated animals like chickens. The Fossas diet consists of 50% lemurs, and the other 50% being whatever they can find thats small to eat for example, small mammals. The main section where Fossas hunt is in the trees, since they are extremely fast in the trees, using their tails like tightropes to swing from branch to branch. They normally hunt during the day, like many mammals and will hunt sometimes at night depending on the animal or animals they are trying to find that are nocturnal. Fossas have excellent listening skills to be able to hear even the slightest of noises. Since Fossas eat mainly lemurs, their ears are developed to hearing the lemurs footsteps, calls, or even the brush of a tail, to help them hunt. Sometimes, rarely, if a Fossa is starving, a Fossa will head over to a birds nest, kill the mother, and steal the eggs, eating the insides. They will do the same with turtle eggs, snake eggs, tadpoles, and any other egg they can find.


Fossa is spotting a nearby lemur.


APPEARANCE


A Fossa has brownish, orangish fur, that helps it to blend in with the tree bark, and dirt so that predators cannot spot it as easily. A Fossa has an extremely long body. From head to tail tip it measures close to 1.8 meters long, or 6 feet long. Fossas have silvery claws and those claws help it to climb trees. The tail usually measures up to 3 feet in length, taking at least half of the Fossas body, and helps it to balance on tree branches. For some odd reason, when male Fossas mature, they get a weird orangish coloration on their chest and stomach.


FUN FACTS


The Fossa is a close relative of the mongoose. The female Fossa usually gives birth from 2 to 4 young and adulthood is usually reached at 3 years old. Fossas will normally live up to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity due to sickness, malformity, starvation, poaching, poisoning, etc.

The Fossa is an extremely solitary animal, and only normally spends time with other Fossas when they are cubs.

There was once such a thing as a giant Fossa. It was almost 6 meters in length (or 19 feet long).



CLOSE TO EXTINCTION

surprised baby Fossa


Sadly, Fossas are becoming extinct. Fossas population in the 1960’s were over 20,000, but now there are only a few hundred, and we need to bring the population up. Fossas were brought down mainly by poachers in numbers, who killed many of them, and farmers, who killed many of the Fossas because they thought that it was the Fossas who were killing their livestock, or chickens.

Fossas were thought to be extinct until 1950, when a group of researchers went to madagascar to make sure that they were still there.


WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP


Whether people are going on expeditions, trips, vacations, or just sightseeing, sometimes they will go to madagascar. Some people are careless, and don’t care about the beautiful environment, so they may throw trash on the ground instead of a trash can or recycling bin. We need to stop this, it’s beginning to get really bad. Sometimes, the half eaten food, or half drunken drinks are poisonous to some species of animals, and can make them sick. Since Fossas are so curious, they will go up to the food, sniff it, and eventually eat it.This could lead to harming the Fossas, as it already has. If you want to help the Fossas, heres a few things we can do,

  • Clean up after yourself

  • STOP pollution

  • STOP littering

  • DONT hunt the endangered species that inhabit madagascar

  • STOP poaching

  • and finally, STOP poisoning the animals


Only we, the people can stop this mess, because it’s not just Madagascar that struggles with this hurdle, its places all around the world, and we need to make a difference.


CONCLUSION

If you really want to make a difference in Fossa population, I want you to encourage your family, friends, teachers, bosses, WHOEVER YOU WANT to pleeeaaaassseee start bringing the Fossa species into captivity. Whether it be in a zoo, park, national park, maybe even a Fossa sanctuary, I don’t care, but please, we need to make a difference.



RESOURCES


www.nationalgeographic.com/


http://a-z-animals.com/animals/fossa/


http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=43