Madagascar's National Parks, Reserves, And Protected Areas

Lush jungles in Masoala National Park.
Lush jungles in Masoala National Park.

In 1927 the French colonial government introduced the first protections for natural sites to Madagascar, an island nation off of the southern coast of the African continent. The original sites were meant for conducting scientific research. Over the years Madagascar’s government has followed the example of its predecessor and has reserved more sites and parks. Masoala is the largest at 2,405 square kilometers, while the oldest, including Lokobe, were formed under French Colonial rule.

Madagascar's National Parks, Reserves, And Protected Areas

Ambatovaky Reserve

Ambatovaky Reserve, which was established in 1958, houses the second largest protected rainforest area in Madagascar, after that in Masoala. This largest of Madagascar’s special reserves is located in the Eastern part of the country. 75% of the 291 species found in Ambatovaky are endemic. There are 11 lemur species, 110 bird species, 113 amphibian species, and 34 fish species. The park spans 148,387 acres, all virgin low altitude rainforest, between the Marimbona and Simianona Rivers. The landscape is hilly, with some hills reaching a height of 1,000 meters. Waterfalls flow out of the sides of the steep walls of the gorges and valleys. The Ambatovaky’s ecosystem faces the threat of human encroachment. People living near the park need more space for their cattle, and for growing rice. With the human population increasing at a alarming rate, many people are forced to find alternative ways of earning a living for instance by cutting down trees in the rainforest for wood, or poaching endangered species inside the park.

Amber Mountain National Park

Amber Mountain Park is a high altitude rainforest located in the northern tip of Madagascar, 30 kilometers south of Antsiranana City. The park, which was established in 1958, is surrounded by hot plains. Waterfalls and streams flow down the slopes of the mountain, flowing into the five lakes, providing water for Antsiranana City. Spanning 44,973 acres, the park is home to endemic flora and fauna including 25 mammal species, 75 bird species, 60 reptiles, and 40 butterflies. It consists of three ecosystems the montane rainforest, the mid-altitude rainforest, and the dry deciduous forest. These ecosystems are home to more than a thousand different plants. It is hot with occasional rainfall between September and November. December to March is the Cyclone season.

Ambohijanahary Reserve

Ambohijanary Reserve is found in the western part of the country near the Bongolava Mountains. The reserve, which was established in 1958, spans 61,159 acres. It is home to the last remaining dense sclerophyllous forests. It is subject to extreme climate changes such as hot, rainy seasons or long dry seasons. Several ecosystems exist side by side, including water areas, bamboo stands, gramineous savanna, sclerophyllous forests, and rocky landscapes. It is the habitat for 78 mammal species, 57 bird species, 21 reptile species, and nine amphibian species. The native community, the Sarakala, are cattle herders. They often burn the savanna to provide fresh grass for their cattle after the grass grows again, which is a threat to the ecosystem.

Ambohitantely Reserve

At 13,838 acres, Ambohitantely Reserve, which was established in 1982, consists of several areas covered with primary rainforests and grassland fields with gramineous vegetation. There are 70 bird species, 17 mammals, 17 reptiles, and 17 amphibians. The reserve is rich in flora as well, with 40 different orchids, and several endemic palm trees. It is threatened by the native residents of the area, who plant rice. They follow the custom of “slash and burn,” which is harmful to the plant and animal life, and ultimately threatens the ecosystem.

Preserving Madagascar's Natural Beauty

Madagascar is extraordinarily well endowed in terms of its biodiversity. Madagascar is home to many endemic species, a fact that has made it a high priority to the international community in matters concerning the conservation and protection of endangered species. Numerous agencies are assisting the country to help it protect its natural sites from environmental threats.

Madagascar's National Parks, Reserves, And Protected Areas

National Parks, Reserves, And Protected Areas of Madagascar Area
Ambatovaky Reserve 148,387 acres
Amber Forest Reserve 11,886 acres
Amber Mountain National Park 44,973 acres
Ambohijanahary Reserve 61,159 acres
Ambohitantely Reserve 13,838 acres
Analamazaotra National Park(Périnet) 38,252 acres
Analamerana Reserve 85,746 acres
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park 38,252 acres
Andohahela National Park 187,849 acres
Andranomena Reserve 15,864 acres
Andringitra National Park 76,998 acres
Anjanaharibe-Sud Reserve 79,296 acres
Ankarafantsika National Park 333,592 acres
Ankarana Reserve 45,035 acres
Baie de Baly National Park 141,200 acres
Bemarivo Reserve 28,590 acres
Betampona Reserve 7,215 acres
Beza Mahafaly Reserve 1,483 acres
Bora Reserve 11,962 acres
Cap Sainte Marie Reserve 4,324 acres
Fandriana Marolambo Forest Corridor 480,098 acres
Isalo National Park 201,490 acres
Kalambatritra Reserve 69,819 acres
Kasijy Reserve 48,927 acres
Kirindy Mitea National Park 178,410 acres
Lokobe National Park 3,763 acres
Mahavavy-Kinkony Protected Area 682,010 acres
Mananara Nord National Park 355,832 acres
Mangerivola Reserve 32,136 acres
Maningoza Reserve 19,521 acres
Manombo Reserve 13,146 acres
Manongarivo Reserve 80,890 acres
Marojejy National Park 148,387 acres
Marolambo National Park 480,098 acres
Marotandrano Reserve 104,278 acres
Masoala National Park and Nosy Mangabe Reserve 594,338 acres
Midongy du sud National Park 474,932 acres
Montagne des Français Protected Area 15,053 acres
Nosy Hara National Park 452,477 acres
Nosy Tanikely National Park 773 acres
Nosy Ve-Androka National Park 4,853 acres
Pic d'Ivohibe Reserve 8,532 acres
Ranomafana National Park 102,798 acres
Sahamalaza National Park 64,247 acres
Tampoketsa Analamaitso Reserve 42,379 acres
Tsaratanana Reserve 120,148 acres
Tsimanampetsotse National Park 106,750 acres
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park 178,756 acres
Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve 210,953 acres
Tsingy de Namoroka National Park 54,924 acres
Zahamena National Park 104,526 acres
Zahamena Reserve 54,610 acres
Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park 89,719 acres

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