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Species List - Madagascar

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Molluscs        Arachnids        Insects        Amphibians        Reptiles        Mammals        Birds

With a land area slightly greater than that of France, Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island, and is celebrated among conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts for its exceptional number of endemic species (of all the world's islands, only New Guinea is home to more unique species). The island is especially famous for two groups of animals: the lemurs, largely arboreal primates confined to Madagascar and the Comoros Islands, and the chameleons. These lizards may originally have evolved on Madagascar, and today over 50% of living species are found nowhere else. Lesser-known, but often featured in wildlife guides, are the mantellas (a large group of colourful frogs unique to the island), the often brightly-coloured day geckos, the large tomato frog, giant 'upside-down' baobab trees, and the bizarrely-shaped giraffe-necked weevil. As with many of the world's greatest centres of biodiversity, however, Madagascar faces the challenge of conserving its wildlife while raising standards of living in one of the world's poorest countries. Unsustainable slash-and-burn agriculture, rapid population growth and harvesting of trees to produce charcoal threaten Madagascar's remaining forests, 90% of which have been lost since humans colonised the island 2,000 years ago. Madagascar was among the first 25 biodiversity hotspots recognised by Conservation International, in recognition of high rates of habitat loss and the island's global significance  for biodiversity.

 

MOLLUSCS

 

Madagascar may have as many as 4,000 species of land snail, with the highest concentration unsurprisingly in the humid tropics. The composition of the island's gastropod fauna is very different from that of the African mainland. Snails may represent an important group for studying ecosystem health, but the molluscan fauna of Madagascar is comparatively little-studied. The largest snails in Madagascar are introduced African species of the genus Achatina.

 

Giant African Land Snail Achatina fulica

 

 

ARACHNIDS

 

Anywhere you visit in Madagascar, you are likely to encounter the giant golden orb weavers (Nephila madagascariensis), among the world's largest. As in other animal groups, spiders exhibit a high level of endemism in Madagascar, with one family restricted to the island, and numerous endemic genera. Scorpions are very common in areas of the dry south, with more than 60 species recorded from the island.

 

Scorpion Opisthacanthus sp.
Scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis
Madagascar Golden Orb Weaver Nephila inaurata madagascariensis

 

 

INSECTS

 

Upon seeing a long-necked orchid from Madagascar, Charles Darwin predicted the existence of a giant hawkmoth with an especially long tongue that had co-evolved to pollinate the flower. The later discovery of this insect remains a classic example of evolutionary adaptation. The island can also boast insects among its most iconic wildlife images, including the bizarre giraffe-necked weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa) and the spectacular giant comet or moon moth (Argema mittrei), a brilliant yellow insect with two long 'tails' (actually part of the wing). The remainder of Madagascar's diverse insect fauna is for the most part very poorly-known, but the island is regarded as a high conservation priority for this group.

 

Skimmer Orthetrum sp.
Dragonfly Neodythemis hildebrandti
Dragonfly Palpopleura vestita
Dropwing Trithemis sp.
Sprite Pseudagrion sp.
Madagascar Giant Swallowtail Pharmacophagus antenor
African Swallowtail Papilio dardanus
Citrus Swallowtail Papilio demodocus
Angled Grass-Yellow Eurema desjardinsii
Butterfly Acraea sp.
Madagascar Green-veined Charaxes Charaxes antamboulou
Common Tiger Danaus chrysippus
Blue Pansy Junonia orithya
Brilliant Blue Junonia rhadama
Banded Commodore Precis andremiaja

 

 

AMPHIBIANS

 

Madagascar is home to more amphibian species, all frogs, than any other African country; remarkably, 100% of these species, and most genera, are endemic. Over 200 species have been formally described from the country, placing it 12th in the world in terms of amphibian diversity, however recent genetic evidence suggests that the total is closer to 450. Of these, the most famous are the dozen species of mantella, brightly-coloured, poisonous day-active frogs popular in the pet trade The large, bright red tomato frogs (Dyscophus antongilii) are likewise among Madagascar's well-known, charismatic but threatened wildlife. Some of the island's frog species are among the planet's most endangered, many of them tied to forest habitat which is dwindling rapidly.

 

Madagascar Common Frog Ptychadena madagascariensis
Betsileo Shrub Frog Heterixalus betsileo
Eastern White-lipped Tree Frog Boophis albilabris
Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog Boophis madagascariensis
Bright-eyed Frog Boophis sp. aff. madagascariensis
Free Madagascar Frog Guibemantis liber
Madagascar Glass Frog Guibemantis pulcher
Frog Guibemantis (Duboimantis) sp.
Frog Guibemantis (Vatomantis) sp.
Grandidier's Stream Frog Mantidactylus grandidieri
Frog Mantidactylus sp.
Frog Mantidactylus sp.
Tree Frog Spinomantis aglavei

 

 

REPTILES

Key to the Reptiles of Southwest Madagascar

 

 Madagascar's reptiles include some of the island's best-known residents. The island is home to over half the world's chameleons, including both the largest and the smallest as well as many of the most striking. Most of the world's day geckos (genus Phelsuma), known for their bright contrasting colours as the "living jewels of Madagascar", also occur only on the island; conversely, the bizarre leaf-tailed geckos (genus Uroplatus) are among the best-camouflaged, most cryptic animals in the world.. Madagascar is home to the world's most endangered tortoise, the plowshare or agonoka, and its relative the radiated tortoise (Geochelone radiata). Madagascar's iguanas and one lineage of turtles appear to be relics of the period when the island was attached to South America as part of the southern continent Gondwana. For a long time Madagascar's three species of "boa" were thought to share this origin, but are now known to be close relatives of the African rock python. One attraction for many visitors to the island may be that none of Madagascar's snakes are dangerously venomous, although the Malagasy people themselves are extremely superstitious of snakes and, tragically, kill them in large numbers.

 

Radiated Tortoise Astrochelys subrufa
African Helmeted Turtle Pelomedusa subrufa
Brown Leaf Chameleon Brookesia superciliaris
Short-horned Chameleon Calumma brevicorne
Short-nosed Chameleon Calumma gastrotaenia
Nose-horned Chameleon Calumma nasutum
Parson's Chameleon Calumma parsonii
White-lined Chameleon Furcifer lateralis
Panther Chameleon Furcifer pardalis
Oustalet's Chameleon Furcifer oustaleti
Warty Chameleon Furcifer verrucosus
Three-eyed Lizard Chalaradon madagascariensis
Merrem's Madagascar Swift Oplurus cyclurus
Fish-scaled Gecko Geckolepis sp.
Malaysian House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus
Madagascar Spiny-tailed Gecko Paroedura bastardi
Panther Gecko Paroedura picta
Gold Dust Day Gecko Phelsuma laticauda
Lined Day Gecko Phelsuma lineata
Thick-tailed Day Gecko Phelsuma mutabilis
Dwarf Gecko Lygodactylus tuberosus
Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko Uroplatus sikorae
Western Girdled Lizard Zonosaurus laticaudatus
Madagascar Girdled Lizard Zonosaurus madagascariensis
Madagascar Keeled Plated Lizard Tracheloptychus madagascariensis
Fire-tailed Skink Madascincus igneocaudatus
Skink Trachylepis dumasi
Bright Skink Trachylepis elegans
Boulder Mabuya Trachylepis vato
Madagascar Tree Boa Sanzinia madagascariensis
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake Leioheterodon madagascariensis
Madagascar Blond Hognose Snake Leioheterodon modestus
Snake Liophidium triineatum
Big-eyed Snake Mimophis mahfalensis
Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus

 

 

MAMMALS

 

The origins of Madagascar's unique native mammal fauna have long been mysterious; it was only in 2010 that convincing evidence came to light that the ancestors of Madagascar's mammals had 'rafted' to the island from the African mainland when the direction of ocean currents was reversed. Today, these animals include Madagascar's most famous inhabitants, as many as 100 species of lemur, prosimian primates found only on the island and the neighbouring Comoros. Best-known of the lemurs are the three-foot tall indri (Indri indri), whose call is a loud, mournful wail; sifakas (Propithecus sp.) which appear to 'dance' as they move along the ground on their hindlimbs; the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta) with its vaguely racoon-like mask and tail, and the extraordinary nocturnal aye-aye. Madagascar is also home to another group of mammals nearly unique to Madagascar, the insectivorous tenrecs, most of which resemble shrews or hedgehogs, and to three endemic civets, the best-known being the fosa (sometimes spelt fossa). Apart from bats all of Madagascar's native mammals are endemic to the island, although a number of introduced species are present.

 

Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus
Lowland Streaked Tenrec Hemicentetes semispinosus
Grey Mouse Lemur Microcebus murinus
Brown Mouse Lemur Microcebus rufus
Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus medius
Brown Lemur Eulemur fulvus
Ring-tailed Lemur Lemur catta
Red-ruffed Lemur Varecia variegata rubra
Eastern Avahi Avahi laniger
Verreaux's Sifaka Propithecus verrauxi verrauxi
Indri Indri indri

 

 

BIRDS

 

Given the proximity of mainland Africa and birds' ability to fly, the fact that nearly 60% of Madagascar's birds are found nowhere else is an impressive figure. In a familiar story, birds are represented in Madagascar by an endemic family (the Vangidae) and at least genus found only on the island (Coua, a group of cuckoos with a striking ring of exposed blue skin around the eye). Although couas and vangas may be Madagascar's best-known endemic birds, the island is home to numerous other unique species. Birds may also be the most seriously threatened animal group on the island; over a sixth of the bird species found in the region are endangered and, within the Madagascar-Seychelles hotspot as a whole, 32 of 45 recorded extinctions in historic times have involved birds.

 

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandiae
Humblot's Heron Ardea humbloti
Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idea
Dimorphic Egret Egretta dimorpha
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna vidulata
Madagascar Cuckoo-Hawk Aviceda madagascariensis
Frances' Sparrowhawk Accipiter francesiae
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegypticus
Madagascar Harrier Hawk Polyboroides radiatus
Madagascar Buzzard Buteo brachypterus
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Madagascar Cuckoo Cuculus rochii
Madagascar Coucal Centropus toulou
Blue Coua Coua caerulea
Crested Coua Coua cristata
Giant Coua Coua gigas
Madagascar Scops Owl Otus rutilus
White-browed Owl Ninox superciliaris
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canis
Lesser Vasa Parrot Coracopsis nigra
Greater Vasa Parrot Coracopsis vasa
Ashy Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina cinerea
Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata
Crested Drongo Dricrurus forficatus
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata
Madagascar Hoopoe Upupa marginata
Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo vintsiodes
Madagascar Bee-eater Merops superciliosus
Pitta-like Ground Roller Atelornis pittoides
Madagascar Wagtail Motacilla flaviventris
Red Fody Foudia madagascariensis
Madagascar Mannakin Lonchura nana
Pied Crow Corvus albus

 

Species List - Analamazoatra Special Reserve

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Insects            Amphibians            Reptiles             Mammals                Birds

Analamazoatra forms the major part of Parc Nationale d'Andasibe-Mantadia, often known simply as Andasibe after the nearest town. Vazaha (foreigners) and tourist materials, however, commonly still refer to the park by its colonial French name, Périnet. Périnet covers 15,500 ha of primary montane rainforest and is the most popular of Madagascar's national parks, due to a combination of the park's proximity to the capital Antananarivo (it's about a three-hour drive due east) and the presence of several indri troops habituated to human contact. Several other lemur species occur in the reserve, and in the larger Mantadia National Park, although Mantadia is somewhat difficult to access from Analamazoatra and many visitors don't make it there. Other wildlife for which the reserve is well-known include Parson's chameleon (Calumma parsonii), the world's largest, a species of leaf chameleon (Brookesia superciliaris), and leaf-tailed geckos. Much of this wildlife is also to be found in a smaller private reserve operated by the local NGO Mitsinjo, which protects secondary forest in a former eucalypt plantation near the Andasibe park entrance.

 

 INSECTS

Both of Madagascar's best-known insects, the comet moth and the giraffe-necked weevil, can be found around Perinet. Grassy verges and waterbodies around the park boundary, and within the Mitsinjo reserve's orchid garden, are good places to look for disturbance-tolerant butterflies and dragonflies; the former can be especially numerous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragonfly Neodythemis hildebrandti
Sprite Pseudagrion sp.
Butterfly Acraea sp.
Common Tiger Danaus chrysippus
Banded Commodore Precis andremiaja

 

 

AMPHIBIANS

 

Streams run through both the Analamazoatra and Mitsinjo reserves; together with the moist climate this provides valuable habitat for frogs, and the Andasibe region boasts both one of the most diverse and one of the best-studied amphibian faunas on the island. Based on a recent analysis of cryptic speciation in Malagasy frogs, several more species are thought to await description in the area. Even in the dry season several species can be heard calling; shrub frogs (Heterixalus betsileo, left) will often be encountered while walking along the road to the village at night, while the Pandanus palms at the park entrance are a good place to search for Madagascar glass frogs (Guibemantis pulcher). However, the area is best-known for the golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca), the sole wild populations of which occur within a few kilometres of the reserve.

 

 

Betsileo Shrub Frog Heterixalus betsileo
Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog Boophis madagascariensis
Madagascar Glass Frog Guibemantis pulcher
Frog Mantidactylus sp.
Tree Frog Spinomantis aglavei

 

 

REPTILES

 

 

From personal experience, five species of chameleon may be seen within a day and night at the park, including the iconic Parson's and leaf chameleons. Thirty-nine reptile species have been recorded from the reserve in total, among them at least two species of leaf-tailed gecko (which the guides often plant near the park entrance to show eager visitors) and the Madagascar tree boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis). Day geckos are a common sight on reserve buildings and Pandanus leaf axils.

 

 

 

Brown Leaf Chameleon Brookesia superciliaris
Short-horned Chameleon Calumma brevicorne
Short-nosed Chameleon Calumma gastrotaenia
Nose-horned Chameleon Calumma nasutum
Parson's Chameleon Calumma parsonii
Lined Day Gecko Phelsuma lineata
Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko Uroplatus sikorae
Madagascar Tree Boa Sanzinia madagascariensis

 

 

MAMMALS

 

Eleven species of lemur occur in the combined reserve, although black-and-white ruffed lemurs and diademed sifakas are confined to Mantadia. Indri can be found in both parts of the park, although those in Mantadia have not been habituated to humans.  Brown lemurs may be the most common in the park; guides can reliably locate the habituated groups of indri for visitors, although the way in which they do this - commonly, by playing recordings of the animals' distinctive call and listening for a response - may potentially disrupt the lemur's natural activity patterns and should be discouraged. Park staff themselves insist that they only play the calls at times of day when the indri is naturally active and calling, so visitors should use their own judgement. Nocturnal sightings can include spiny tenrecs, mouse lemurs, and the eastern avahi, the largest of the nocturnal lemurs.

                                                    

Lowland Streaked Tenrec Hemicentetes semispinosus
Brown Mouse Lemur Microcebus rufus
Brown Lemur Eulemur fulvus
Eastern Avahi Avahi laniger
Indri Indri indri

 

 

BIRDS

 

Many of Madagascar's rainforest endemics are to be found within Analamazoatra, and the reserve boasts a total of 115 bird species, among them blue and red-fronted couas and the Madgascar blue pigeon, while the surrounding marshland is a good place to see waterbirds.

 

Blue Coua Coua caerulea
Lesser Vasa Parrot Coracopsis nigra
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata
Pitta-like Ground Roller Atelornis pittoides

 

Species List - Masoala Peninsula

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The Masoala Peninsula, protruding from the northeast side of the island, represents the last stronghold for Madagascar's vanishing rainforest. Protected by sparse settlement and terrain characterised by mountains and canyons that make most road-building unfeasible, larger tracts of virgin forest exist here than in any other part of the country. Masoala National Park, designated in 1997, is Madagascar's largest protected area, covering an area of 2,300 square kilometres and incorporating adjacent marine protected areas and the island of Nosy Mangabe, home to thriving populations of aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) and black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata). In 2007, Masoala was included within the Rainforests of the Anstinanana World Heritage Site. Makira, a large reserve jointly operated by Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society, connects the national park with Marojejy to the peninsula's north, with the intent of creating a large area of lowland to mid-altitude forest where deforestation is limited or halted altogether in one of the most species-rich areas of the island. Masoala is the site of ongoing biodiversity and conservation research; Zoo Zürich supports a small research reserve at the park's edge. The area is home to some of Madagascar's most threatened species, but may also hold more undescribed forms than other regions of the island.

Despite this initiative, much of the landscape outside the national park boundary is already deforested and the remaining forest fragmented as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture. The peninsular region is still suffering the after-effects of uncontrolled logging during the 2009 political crisis. Hardwoods logged from Marojejy and Masoala are transported to centres on the peninsula - the ports of Antalaha and Sambava - for export to China and elsewhere. Indeed, Masoala National Park has the potentially unfortunate distinction of harbouring atypically large numbers of commercially valuable tree species. The large area and inaccessibility of the peninsula combined with limited funds to support park rangers mean that much of the area is under only nominal protection.

 

INSECTS

Much of Masoala is inaccessible and, consequently, rather poorly-known even for vertebrates. Typical insects of Madagascar's forests that can be found here include giraffe-necked weevils, comet moths and brightly-coloured, day-flying uraniid moths. The eastern rainforests represent the centre of endemism and diversity for Madagascar's dragonflies. In more settled areas of the peninsula, such as those on the route from Antalaha to Maroansetra, disturbance-tolerant butterflies and dragonflies occur in large numbers.

Skimmer Orthetrum sp.
Dragonfly Palpopleura vestita
Dropwing Trithemis sp.
African Swallowtail Papilio dardanus
Angled Grass-Yellow Eurema desjardinsii
Common Tiger Danaus chrysippus
Blue Pansy Junonia orithya

 

AMPHIBIANS

Masoala's most striking amphibian is the tomato frog (Dyscophus antongilii), restricted to a small area close to the town of Maroansetra. In fact the peninsula is home to perhaps the greatest diversity of amphibian lineages on the island, and represents a hotspot for both amphibian diversity and, soberingly, the number of threatened amphibians it harbours. As well as being species-rich, the area is of biogeographical importance as the global centre of diversity for one of Madagascar's unique frog radiations, the forest-associated cophyline microhylids. Although the area has been a major collecting locality for amphibians and reptiles, it remains likely that numerous undiscovered species await description from this part of the island.

Madagascar Common Frog Ptychadena madagascariensis
Eastern White-lipped Tree Frog Boophis albilabris
Bright-eyed Frog Boophis sp. aff. madagascariensis
Free Madagascar Frog Guibemantis liber
Frog Guibemantis (Duboimantis) sp.
Frog Guibemantis (Vatomantis) sp.
Grandidier's Stream Frog Mantidactylus grandidieri
Frog Mantidactylus sp.


REPTILES

As with its amphibians, a high proportion of the peninsula's reptiles are endemic to the region, including species of chameleon, day gecko and leaf-tailed gecko. Parson's chameleon occurs within forest fragments and the main park along with many more restricted-range species; in disturbed areas the panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is widespread and commonly seen. Some of the island's largest snakes also occur in the area, among them the Madagascar tree boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis) and the giant hognose snake Leioheterodon madagascariensis.

Panther Chameleon Furcifer pardalis
Malaysian House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus
Gold Dust Day Gecko Phelsuma laticauda
Madagascar Girdled Lizard Zonosaurus madagascariensis
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake Leioheterodon madagascariensis

 

MAMMALS

The star attraction of the Masoala Peninsula is the aye-aye, which is quite often seen on the outlying island of Nosy Mangabe. The rest of the peninsula's lemur fauna should not, however, be overlooked, including as it does a regionally endemic subspecies of ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), the critically endangered silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus), and at least seven other species. Among the area's other mammals, the sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita) represents a family restricted to the island. Nine species of mongoose and civet, including the fossa, have been recorded.

Red-ruffed Lemur Varecia variegata rubra

 

BIRDS

Rediscovered in the 1980s, the Madagascar serpent-eagle (Eutriorchis astur) was at one stage thought to be extinct. It is now believed that the Masoala Peninsula holds the largest surviving populations. In all, 19 of Madagascar's 22 bird of prey species occur in the area, including the rare Henst's goshawk and little-known red owl. The impressive helmet vanga (Euryceros prevostii) is another iconic bird of the eastern rainforests, while colourful residents include pygmy kingfishers, bee-eaters and ground-rollers.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Frances' Sparrowhawk Accipiter francesiae
Madagascar Harrier Hawk Polyboroides radiatus
Madagascar Buzzard Buteo brachypterus
Madagascar Cuckoo Cuculus rochii
Blue Coua Coua caerulea
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canis
Greater Vasa Parrot Coracopsis vasa
Crested Drongo Dricrurus forficatus
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata
Madagascar Bee-eater Merops superciliosus
Madagascar Wagtail Motacilla flaviventris
Red Fody Foudia madagascariensis
Madagascar Mannakin Lonchura nana
Pied Crow Corvus albus

 

Species List - Onilahy

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Molluscs        Arachnids        Insects        Reptiles        Mammals        Birds    

 

In 2001 and 2002, the conservation NGO Frontier conducted biodiversity surveys along a stretch of the Onilahy River from its source to the wetland area Antafoky Lake. As a result of this work, the area between the wetland areas of Sept Lacs and Antafoky was designated the core region of a proposed Parc Regionale de Belomotse in mid-2002 in recognition of the urgent need to protect highly diverse wetlands and areas of riparian and dry spiny forest in this part of southwest Madagascar, which harbour high levels of endemism and several globally threatened species. By September 2008, however, this protected area has still not formally been created. The area encompassed by the proposed reserve is at risk from subsistence agriculture, hunting and charcoal production in one of the poorest parts of the country. Exacerbating this situation, much of the charcoal burning is the work of migrants to the area taking resources without the consent of the local village communities that depend on them; in order to control this activity and the other threats, the conservation strategy for the region places a strong emphasis on enabling local communities to manage and develop their land sustainably.

 

Read more about the proposed Belomoste protected area and Frontier's research in the organisation's reports.

 

MOLLUSCS

 

Few snails are adapted to the arid conditions of Madagascar's dry south; the Frontier project identified only nine species in total. Indeed, the most common appeared to be the introduced African land snail Achatina fulica.

 

Giant African Land Snail Achatina fulica

 

 

 ARACHNIDS

 

Scorpions are commonly-encountered in Madagascar's dry forest region, and several species are present. The large orb weavers are also abundant

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Scorpion Opisthacanthus sp.
Scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis
Madagascar Golden Orb Weaver Nephila inaurata madagascariensis

 

 

 INSECTS

 

Madagascar's insect fauna is still poorly-known; however, as an important wetland area containing marshes, lakes and riparian habitats, the region is home to abundant dragonflies, while Frontier's butterfly surveys revealed 61 butterfly species, most of which were apparently confined to either riparian or spiny forest habitats.

 

 

Skimmer Orthetrum sp.
Dropwing Trithemis sp.
Madagascar Giant Swallowtail Pharmacophagus antenor
Citrus Swallowtail Papilio demodocus
Madagascar Green-veined Charaxes Charaxes antamboulou
Brilliant Blue Junonia rhadama

 

 

 REPTILES

Key to the Reptiles of Southwest Madagascar

 

The proposed reserve, and especially the section of the core area that encompasses Antafoky Lake, may be nationally important for reptiles. Fifty-five species have been recorded from the region, one of the highest figures for any region in Madagascar, and around half of these are restricted to either riparian or dry spiny forest. These latter include two globally vulnerable species, the radiated tortoise and Standing's day gecko, while the locally endemic skink Euprepis dumasi is restricted to forest alongside the Onilahy River. Boas are purportedly common in the wet season, but many reptiles are less active and can be difficult to find once the dry season is underway.

 

Radiated Tortoise Astrochelys subrufa
African Helmeted Turtle Pelomedusa subrufa
White-lined Chameleon Furcifer lateralis
Oustalet's Chameleon Furcifer oustaleti
Warty Chameleon Furcifer verrucosus
Three-eyed Lizard Chalaradon madagascariensis
Merrem's Madagascar Swift Oplurus cyclurus
Fish-scaled Gecko Geckolepis sp.
Madagascar Spiny-tailed Gecko Paroedura bastardi
Panther Gecko Paroedura picta
Thick-tailed Day Gecko Phelsuma mutabilis
Dwarf Gecko Lygodactylus tuberosus
Western Girdled Lizard Zonosaurus laticaudatus
Madagascar Keeled Plated Lizard Tracheloptychus madagascariensis
Fire-tailed Skink Madascincus igneocaudatus
Skink Trachylepis dumasi
Bright Skink Trachylepis elegans
Boulder Mabuya Trachylepis vato
Madagascar Tree Boa Sanzinia madagascariensis
Madagascar Blond Hognose Snake Leioheterodon modestus
Snake Liophidium triineatum
Big-eyed Snake Mimophis mahfalensis
Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus

 

 

 MAMMALS

 

Six species of lemur occur in the region, at least four of which are active well into the dry season and can be quite abundant. Ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux's sifaka are common both around the village of Manderano and in Antafoky, although this appears to be a consequence of animals crowding into increasingly small areas of suitable habitat rather than a sign of a healthy ecosystem. The vulnerable Coquerel's dwarf lemur is quite common in little-disturbed forest. Hedgehog and shrew tenrecs can be found in the area, but become dormant in the dry season. Eight species of bat are known from the region, two of which may be previously undescribed. Local villagers also report the presence of fosa in this part of southwest Madagascar.

 

Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus
Grey Mouse Lemur Microcebus murinus
Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus medius
Ring-tailed Lemur Lemur catta
Verreaux's Sifaka Propithecus verrauxi verrauxi

 

 

 BIRDS

 

The marshes in the proposed reserve and the lake at Antafoky are both havens for scarce waterbirds; Humboldt's and Madagascar pond heron are globally rare species that Frontier researchers encountered on a near-daily basis in the marshland behind Manderano Village. Other nationally scarce species found in this part of the country include Madagascar sparrowhawk, peregrine falcon and several waterbirds. Over a quarter of the birds known from the area are regionally endemic.

 

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandiae
Humblot's Heron Ardea humbloti
Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idea
Dimorphic Egret Egretta dimorpha
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna vidulata
Madagascar Cuckoo-Hawk Aviceda madagascariensis
Frances' Sparrowhawk Accipiter francesiae
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegypticus
Madagascar Harrier Hawk Polyboroides radiatus
Madagascar Buzzard Buteo brachypterus
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Madagascar Coucal Centropus toulou
Crested Coua Coua cristata
Giant Coua Coua gigas
Madagascar Scops Owl Otus rutilus
White-browed Owl Ninox superciliaris
Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canis
Greater Vasa Parrot Coracopsis vasa
Ashy Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina cinerea
Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata
Crested Drongo Dricrurus forficatus
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata
Madagascar Hoopoe Upupa marginata
Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo vintsiodes
Madagascar Bee-eater Merops superciliosus
Pied Crow Corvus albus

 

 

Click anywhere on the map to go directly to the Madagascar species list, or near one of the hotspots (coloured circles) to go to the species list for that region.

  Onilahy
 Masoala

 

  Analamazoatra
Disclaimer: This map contains public domain material originally from the United States Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.