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282
MADEIRA


Madeira has long had a high reputation as a sanatory resort for persons suffering from diseases of the chest. Notwithstanding the ever-increasing competition of other winter resorts, a considerable number of invalids, especially English and German, winter at Funchal.

Fauna.-No species of land mammal is indigenous to the Madeiras. Some of the early voyagers indeed speak of wild goats and swine, but these animals must have escaped from confinement. The rabbit, black rat, brown rat and mouse have been introduced. The first comers encountered seals, and this amphibious mammal (Monachus albii/enter) still lingers at the Desertas. Amongst the thirty species of birds which breed in these islands are the kestrel, buzzard and barn owl, the blackbird, robin, wagtail, goldfinch, ring sparrow, linnet, two swifts, three pi eons, the quail, red-legged partridge, woodcock, tern, herring guli two petrels and three puffins. Only one species is endemic, and that is a Wren (Regulus madeirensis), but five other species are known elsewhere only at the Canaries. These are the green canary (Fringilla butyracea, the parent of the domesticated yellow variety), a chaffinch (Fringzlla tintillon), a swift (Cypselus unicolor), a wood pigeon (Columbo trocaz) and a petrel (Thalassidroma Bulwerii). There is also a local variety of the blackcap, distinguishable from the common kind by the extension in the male of the cap to the shoulder. About seventy other species have been seen from time to time in Madeira, chiefly stragglers from the African coast, many of them coming with the leste wind. The only land reptile is a small lizard (Lacerta dugesii), which is abundant and is very destructive to the grape crop. The loggerhead turtle (Caouana caretta, Gray) is fre uently captured, and is cooked for the table, but the soup is much in(leri0r to that made from the green turtle of the West Indies. A single variety of frog (Rana esculenta) has been introduced; there are no other batrachians. About 250 species of marine fishes taken at Madeira have been scientifically determined, the largest families being Scombridae with 35 species, the sharks with 24, the Sparidae with 15, the rays with 14, the Labridae with 13, the Gadidae with 12, the eels with 12, the Percidae with 1 I, and the Carangidae with Io. Many kinds, such as the mackerel, horse mackerel, groper, mullet, braise, &c., are caught in abundance, and afford a cheap article of diet to the people. Several species of tunny are taken plentifully in spring and summer, one of them sometimes attaining the weight of 300 l'b. The only freshwater fish is the common eel, which is found in one or two of the streams.

According to T. V. Wollaston (Teslacea allantica, 1878), there have been found 158 species of mollusca on the land, 6 inhabiting fresh water, and 7 littoral species, making a total of 171. A large majority of the land shells are considered to be peculiar. Many of the species are variable in form or colour, and some have an extraordinary number of varieties. Of the land mollusca 91 species are assigned to the genus Helix, 31 to the genus Pupa, and 15 to the genus Achatina (or Lo:/ea). About 43 species are found both living and fossil in superficial deposits of calcareous sand in Madeira or Porto Santo. These deposits were assigned by Lyell to the Newer Pliocene period. Some 12 or 13 species have not 'been hitherto discovered alive. More than 100 species of Polyzoa (Bryozoa) have been collected, among them are some highly interesting forms.

The only order of insects which has been thoroughly examined is that of the Coleoptera. By the persevering researches of T. V. Wollaston the astonishing number of 695 species of beetles has been brought to light at the Madeiras. The proportion of endemic kinds is very large, and it is remarkable that 200 of them are either wingless or their wings are so poorly developed that they cannot fly, while 23 of the endemic genera have all their species in this condition. With regard to the Lepidoptera, II or 12 species of butterflies have been seen, all of which belong to European genera. Some of the species are geographical varieties of well-known types. Upward of 100 moths have been collected, the majority of them being of a European stamp, but probably a fourth of the total number are peculiar to the Madeiran group. Thirty-seven species of Neuroptera have been observed in Madeira, 12 of them being so far as is known peculiar.

The bristle-footed worms of the coast have been studied by Professor P. Langerhans, who has met with about 200 species, of which a large number were new to science. There are no modern coral reefs, but several species of stony and flexible corals have been collected, though none are of commercial value. There is, however, a white stony coral allied to the red coral of the Mediterranean which would be valuable as an article of trade if it could be obtained in sufficient quantity. Specimens of a rare and handsome red Paragorgia are in the British Museum and Liverpool Museum. Flora.-The vegetation is strongly impressed with a south-European character. Many of the plants in the lower region undoubtedly were introduced and naturalized after the Portuguese colonization. A large number of the remainder are found at the Canaries and the Azores, or in one of these groups, but nowhere else. Lastly, there are about a hundred plants which are peculiarly Macleiran, either as distinct species or as strongly marked varieties. The flowering plants found truly wild belong to about 363 genera and 717 species, -the monocotyledons numbering 70 genera and 128 species, the dicotyledons 293 genera and 589 species. The three largest orders are the Compositzze, Leguminosae and Graminaceae. Forty-one species of ferns grow in Madeira, three of which are endemic species and six others belong to the peculiar Hora of the North Atlantic islands. About IO0 species of moss have been collected, and 47 species of Hepa.tivae. A connexion between the Hora of Madeira and that of the /Vest Indies and tropical America has been inferred from the presence in the former of six ferns found nowhere in Europe or North Africa, but existing on the islands of the east coast of America or on the Isthmus of Panama. A further relationship to that continent is to be traced by the presence in Madeira of the beautiful ericaceous tree Clethra arborea, belonging to a genus which is otherwise wholly American, and of a Persea, a tree laurel, also an American genus. The dragon tree (Draraena Draco) is almost extinct. Amongst the trees most worthy of note are four of the laurel order belonging to separate genera, an Ardisia, Pittosporum, Sideroxylon, Notelaea, Rhamuus and M yrica, -a strange mixture of genera to be found on a small Atlantic island. Two heaths of arborescent growth and a whortleberry cover large tracts on the mountains. In some parts there is a belt of the Spanish chestnut about the height of 1500 ft. There is no indigenous pine tree as at the Canaries; but large tracts on the hills have been planted with Pinus piuasler, from which the fuel of the inhabitants is mainly derived. A European juniper (J. Oxycedrus), growing to the height of 40 or 50 ft., was formerly abundant, but has been almost exterminated, as its scented wood is prized by the cabinet-maker. Several of the native trees and shrubs now grow only in situations which are nearly inaccessible, and some of the indigenous plants are of the greatest rarity. But some plants of foreign origin have spread in a remarkable manner. Among these is the common cactus or prickly pear (Opuutia Tuna), which in many spots on the coast is sufficiently abundant to give a character to the landscape. As to Algae, the coast is too rocky and the sea too unquiet for a luxuriant marine vegetation, consequently the species are few and poor. I nhabilczuts.-The inhabitants are of Portuguese descent, with probably some intermixture of Moorish and negro blood amongst the lower classes. The dress of the peasantry, without being picturesque, is peculiar. Both men and women in the outlying country districts wear the carapugrz, a small cap made of blue cloth in shape something like a funnel, with the pipe standing upwards. The men have trousers of linen, drawn tight, and terminating at the knees; a coarse shirt enveloping the upper part of their person, covered by a short jacket, completes their attire, with the exception of a pair of rough yellow boots. The women's outer garments consist of a gaudily coloured gown, made from island material, with a small cape of coarse scarlet or blue woollen cloth.) The population tends to increase rapidly. In 1900 it amounted to r50,574, including 890 foreigners, of whom the majority were British. The number of females exceeds that of males by about 6000, partly because many of the able bodied males emigrate to Brazil or the United States. The density of population (479-5 per sq. m.) is very great for a district containing no large town and chiefly dependent on agriculture and viticulture.

A gricullure.-A large portion of the land was formerly entailed in the families of the landlords (morgados), but entails have been abolished by the legislature, and the land is now absolutely free. The deficiency of water is a great obstacle to the proper cultivation of the land, and the rocky nature or steep inclination of the upper parts of the islands is an effectual bar to all tillage. An incredible amount of labour has been expended upon the soil, partly in the erection of walls intended to prevent its being washed away by the rains, and to build up the plots of ground in the form of terraces. Watercourses have been constructed for purposes of irrigation, without which at regular intervals the island would not produce a hundredth part of its present yield. These Watercourses originate high up in the ravines, are built of masonry or driven through the rock, and wind about for miles until they reach the cultivated land. Some of them are brought by tunnels from the north side of the island through the central crest of hill. Each occupier takes his turn at the running stream for so many hours in the day or night at a time notified to him beforehand. In this climate flowing water has a saleable value as well as land, which is useless without irrigation. The agricultural implements employed are 0f the rudest kind, and the system of cultivation is extremely primitive. Very few of the occupiers own the land they cultivate; but they almost invariably own the walls, cottages and trees standing thereon, the land alone belonging to the landlord. The tenant can sell his share of the property without the consent of the landlord, and if he does not so