Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, it is the fourth-largest island in the world, as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population.
late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented
assortment of shifting socio-political alliances. Beginning in the early 19th
century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar
by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island
was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained
independence in 1960.