This paper provides an overview of the habitat, natural resources, history, and socioeconomy of a small group of foragers called the Mikea who live in a semiarid forest environment of southwestern Madagascar. The flora and fauna of this forest are made up largely of rare, endemic species to Madagascar and the fragile environment is at risk of destruction by the process of desertification, particularly slash-and-burn agriculture and over- grazing by livestock. It is hypothesized that the Mikea persist as hunter-gatherers as an eco- logical and socioeconomic adaptation employing resource partitioning and mutualistic specialization with neighboring agropastoralists. Suggestions are proposed how to mitigate the detrimental affects of slash-and-burn cultivation.
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