Mananara Nord National Park

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The Mananara Nord Biosphere Reserve is part of the global network of Biosphere Reserves. Launched in 1971, UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) encourages interdisciplinary research, training and demonstration on resource management. It helps to improve the understanding of biophysical, socio-economic and cultural factors that affect the environment, and to increase the participation of scientists in decisions about more efficient use of resources.

The Mananara Nord National Park is located in the Mananara Nord district of the Analanjirofo region, 280km north of Toamasina (Tamatave). The park is bounded by the Mananara river to the north, the Sandrakatsy river and Fotsialanana river to the west, the Anove river to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east.

The entire Mananara Nord National Park consists of 23,000ha terrestrial park and 1,000ha marine park. The altitude reaches from 0m to 569m. The park is subject to a humid tropical climate. The average temperature is 25.2°C and the humidity is constantly high. It rains most of the year and can reach up to 2,900mm per year. There is a warm and rainy season from September to March and a cooler season from April to September. Mananara is often a passage area for tropical cyclones.

The Precambrian basement of Mananara, dating back 2,750 million years, belongs to the Antongilian system. Following geological metamorphisms that led to this substrate of rocks composed of amphibolites, micaschists, greenschist and schist, granitic intrusions of about 770 million years ago appeared which, together with Neocene alteration and erosion, are responsible for the orthogonal shape of the region's relief with narrowly linear valleys, rock walls, cascades and waterfalls, falling rocky shores and the hydrographic network following the lines of the landscape and valleys. This explains the difficulty of access to monitor the park, the history of linear fragmentation of the forest and the human occupation along the lines of valleys. The density of vegetation and the ability of forest regeneration worsen the problems as they favour the camouflage of offenders.

Due to the presence of the South Equatorial Current coming from South Asia that runs along the east coast to become Madagascar's southward current, this current brings warm surface waters in all seasons and conditions the water temperature to never drop below 18°-20°C. In order to develop, coral reefs require warm, clear water (above 18°C) on a shallow bottom with 30 to 35% salinity, which is the case for the Mananara Nord Marine Park. At the highest sea (during high tide minus the half maximum height of a wave) the water is between 25m and 35m deep. The Malagasy east coast is swept throughout the year by the Alizé (trade wind). The average wind speed is 20m/s.

The Mananara Nord National Park consists of a land and marine park that are both rich in biodiversity as well as natural and original beauty. The marine park is the first created in Madagascar. The site is commonly called Nosy Antafana. It is a set of three islets located 2.5km off Sahasoa. The largest is Nosy Be or Nosy Antafana, where a freshwater source is located. The second is Nosy Rangontsy, named after the man whose remains were the first to be deposited there. On this islet are a mangrove swamp, an expanse of brackish water with fish and in the east huge masses of granite. The last island and the smallest is Nosy Hely. It is a real marine ecosystem with various representative ecological niches. Coral reefs are among the most beautiful and rich in biodiversity of the east coast of Madagascar. The land park represents the eastern eco-region with littoral forests and forest islands.


Objectives of the site

The Mananara Nord National Park was established on 25th July 1989 by Presidential Decree No. 89/216. It is the first as a Biosphere Reserve in Madagascar. The objective of the site is the conservation of biodiversity in the national park (both marine and terrestrial), it must maintain the quality and quantity of biodiversity in the protected area.

The national park is also a water reservoir for the region with thirty sources, the most important are: Ambatomilogno, Fotsialanana, Hoalampano, Ivontaka, Mahavo, Manambato Manandriana, Mandemoko, Menatany, Sahantsidy, Saharamy, Sahasatrana, Sahasoa, Sahofiky, Tsihoronina, Vahibe, Vongohely, ...

The Mananara Nord Biosphere Reserve is home to a rich flora and fauna. These species require specific conservation actions as they are subject to pressures. They are key elements in the protected area and are referred to as conservation targets.


Conservation targets

The conservation targets of Mananara Nord National Park are:

* Dense humid forest of low altitude: It comprises almost all of the Mananara Nord Biosphere Reserve. Compared to the very small variation of altitude, the richness in micro-mammal is exceptional.

* Forest island Nosy Antafana: For years the island is exposed to an ongoing attack by a colony of Rattus rattus (Black rat) invading it.

* Coral reefs: The Mananara reefs are among the most beautiful with a great wealth of biodiversity.

* The species

  • Dypsis antanambensis - endemic palm tree, critically endangered (grows only in the park, 49 mature individuals in total)
  • Voanioala gerardii - a rare plant worldwide, critically endangered
  • Allocebus trichotis - Hairy-eared dwarf lemur, never existed in large numbers. It is found in the vicinity of the Mananara River which is its exclusive habitat.


The site and local population

The Mananara Nord National Park is subject to pressures for the

* terrestrial part:

  • Land clearings, destroying the forest by burning
  • Human occupations, as the population increases, inward penetration is inevitable.
  • Illegal logging of precious woods and by-products.
  • Poaching, lemurs, small mammals and birds are most attacked.

* marine part:

  • Octopus fishing with harpoons
  • Use of small mesh nets
  • The abundance of rats on Nosy Antafana


Fauna

The best fauna most visible to tourists

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Description Where to find When to find
Indri indri Indri Babakoto Completely dark fur Verezanantsoro Circuit All year round
Varecia variegata Black-and-white ruffed lemur Varikandana Easy to observe Verezanantsoro Circuit All year round
Eulemur albifrons White-fronted brown lemur Varikosibe Easy to observe Verezanantsoro Circuit, Ivontaka Sud Circuit, Varary Circuit During the day
Brookesia superciliaris Brown leaf chameleon Ranovary Tiny chameleon Verezanantsoro Circuit, Ivontaka Sud Circuit, Varary Circuit October to November
Euryceros prevostii Helmet vanga Siketribe Indicator of an undisturbed forest Verezanantsoro Circuit All year round
Pteropus rufus Madagascan flying fox Fanihy Nosy Antafana Circuit All year round
Amphiprion latifasciatus Madagascar anemonefish Indicator of an intact habitat Nosy Antafana aquatic Circuit All year round


Inventories have identified:

On the terrestrial fauna,

  • 77 species of birds
  • 136 species of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians of a particular region) identified throughout a survey in 2001
  • 13 species of lemurs in the forest of the reserve
  • 17 rodent species known in the low to medium altitude moist forest (0 - 1,200m) in northeastern Madagascar
  • 7 species of freshwater fish in the surrounding of the park
  • Regarding arthropods, Mananara Nord National Park forms with Zahamena National Park and Masoala National Park what is called the endemic centre of Madagascar
  • The Mananara Nord National Park is one of the protected areas that has the highest number of micro-mammal species in the eastern ecoregion given its reduced altitude range and size, which barely covers one-tenth of the Masoala surface. Indeed, there are 16 species against 17, for which Masoala is the richest.

On the marine fauna,

  • 132 species of cnidaria
  • 64 species of molluscs
  • 16 species of arthropods
  • 34 species of echinoderms
  • 179 species of fish
  • 2 species of reptiles
  • 2 species of mammals


Lemurs

An inventory identified 13 species of lemurs.

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity Description Biology and behavior
Indri indri Indri Babakoto Endemic to Madagascar Black fur, the largest of the lemurs Arboreal (lives on trees), folivore (feeds on leafs), group of 2 to 3
Propithecus diadema Diademed sifaka Sifaka Endemic to Madagascar White fur, red thigh, fairly large Diurnal, lives in a group
Avahi laniger Eastern woolly lemur Ampongy Endemic to Madagascar Grey fur, average size Twilight active, lives in a group
Daubentonia madagascariensis Aye-aye Haihay Endemic to Madagascar Black fur, average size Nocturnal, insectivore (feeds on insects), solitary
Varecia variegata Black-and-white ruffed lemur Varikandana Endemic to Madagascar Black and white fur, fairly large Diurnal, lives in a group of more than 4
Eulemur albifrons White-fronted brown lemur Varikosibe Endemic to Madagascar Grey fur, average size Diurnal, lives in group of more than 6
Eulemur fulvus Brown lemur Varikosy Endemic to Madagascar Grey coat, black muzzle, average size Diurnal or twilight active, lives in group of up to 12
Eulemur rubriventer Red-bellied lemur Alomena Endemic to Madagascar Red fur, average size Diurnal, lives in group of up to 4
Hapalemur griseus Eastern grey bamboo lemur Bokombolo Endemic to Madagascar Grey fur, relatively small size Diurnal or twilight active, folivore (feeds on leafs), lives in group of several individuals
Lepilemur mustelinus Weasel sportive lemur Fitsidiky Endemic to Madagascar Grey fur, medium size Nocturnal
Cheirogaleus major Greater dwarf lemur Tsitsihy Endemic to Madagascar Grey fur, relatively small size Nocturnal, hibernates during winter
Allocebus trichotis Hairy-eared dwarf lemur Tsidiala Endemic to Madagascar Dark grey fur, small size
Microcebus rufus Brown mouse lemur Tsidy Endemic to Madagascar Grey coat, smallest lemur Nocturnal, more insectivore (feeds on insects) than frugivore (feeds on fruits)


Birds

There are 77 species of birds in the park.

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity
Accipiter francesiae Frances's sparrowhawk Firasa / Fihiaky  
Accipiter madagascariensis Madagascar sparrowhawk Firasa Endemic to Madagascar
Acridotheres tristis Common myna    
Agapornis canus Grey-headed lovebird Karaoko Endemic to Madagascar
Alectroenas madagascariensis Madagascar blue pigeon Finengo maitso Endemic to Madagascar
Asio madagascariensis Madagascar long-eared owl Hankagna Endemic to Madagascar
Brachypteracias leptosomus Short-legged ground-roller Fangadiovy Endemic to Madagascar
Brachypteracias squamiger
now Geobiastes squamiger
Scaly ground-roller Endemic to Madagascar
Buteo brachypterus Madagascar buzzard Hindry / Beririnina Endemic to Madagascar
Calicalicus madagascariensis Red-tailed vanga Vanga mena / Totokarasoroka Endemic to Madagascar
Canirallus kioloides or Mentocrex kioloides Madagascar wood-rail Tasikoza vohitra Endemic to Madagascar
Caprimulgus madagascariensis Madagascar nightjar Tataro
Centropus toulou Madagascar coucal Toloho
Cisticola cherina Madagascar cisticola Tity / Tsintsina
Copsychus albospecularis Madagascar magpie-robin Todiagna Endemic to Madagascar
Coracina cinerea
now Ceblepyris cinereus
Madagascar cuckoo-shrike Vorondavenoky / Vorondavenona Endemic to Madagascar
Coracopsis nigra Black parrot Boeza fihitra Endemic to Madagascar
Coracopsis vasa Greater vasa parrot Boeza be Endemic to Madagascar
Corythornis vintsioides Madagascar kingfisher Vintsy
Coua caerulea Blue coua Mariha Endemic to Madagascar
Coua cristata Crested coua Ambosanga Endemic to Madagascar
Coua reynaudii Red-fronted coua Koa Endemic to Madagascar
Coua serriana Red-breasted coua Koa Endemic to Madagascar
Cuculus rochii Madagascar cuckoo Taotaonkafa
Cyanolanus madagascarinus
Cypsiurus parvus African palm swift Firihitsandro / Tsiditsidina
Dryolimnas cuvieri Dryolimnas cuvieri Tsikoza
Dicrurus forficatus Crested drongo Ledronga
Euryceros prevostii Helmet vanga Siketribe Endemic to Madagascar
Eurystomus glaucurus Broad-billed roller Tsararahaky
Falco newtoni Madagascar kestrel Hitsikitsika Endemic to Madagascar
Foudia madagascariensis Madagascar red fody Fody / Fodimena Endemic to Madagascar
Foudia omissa Forest fody Fody / Fodiala Endemic to Madagascar
Hartlaubius auratus Hartlaubius auratus Vorontainomby Endemic to Madagascar
Hypositta corallirostris Coral-billed nuthatch vanga Sakodidy Endemic to Madagascar
Hypsipetes madagascariensis Madagascar bulbul Menasony
Ispidina madagascariensis
now Corythornis madagascariensis
Madagascar pygmy-kingfisher Vintsiala Endemic to Madagascar
Leptopterus chabert Chabert's vanga Fotsy tretraka Endemic to Madagascar
Leptopterus viridis
now Artamella viridis
White-headed vanga Vanga Endemic to Madagascar
Leptosomus discolor Cuckoo-roller Kirombo
Lonchura nana Madagascar mannikin Tsingirity Endemic to Madagascar
Lophotibis cristata Madagascar crested ibis Lampirana Endemic to Madagascar
Margaroperdix madagarensis Madagascar partridge Traotrao Endemic to Madagascar
Merops superciliosus Olive bee-eater Kirokirioky  
Mesitornis unicolor Brown mesite Roa telo, voronantambo Endemic to Madagascar
Motacilla flaviventris Madagascar wagtail Triotrio Endemic to Madagascar
Mystacornis crossleyi Crossley’s babbler Endemic to Madagascar
Nectarinia notata Long-billed green sunbird Soy Endemic to Madagascar
Nectarinia souimanga or Cinnyris sovimanga Souimanga sunbird Soy Endemic to Madagascar
Neodrepanis coruscans Sunbird asity Soy ala Endemic to Madagascar
Neomixis striatigula Stripe-throated jery Jijy Endemic to Madagascar
Neomixis tenella Common jery   Endemic to Madagascar
Neomixis viridis Green jery   Endemic to Madagascar
Nesillas typica Madagascar brush-warbler    
Newtonia amphichroa Dark newtonia   Endemic to Madagascar
Newtonia brunneicauda Common newtonia   Endemic to Madagascar
Newtonia fanovanae Red-tailed newtonia   Endemic to Madagascar
Ninox superciliaris
now Athene superciliaris
White-browed hawk-owl Vorondolo Endemic to Madagascar
Numida meleagris Helmeted guineafowl    
Oriolia bernieri Bernier's vanga Taporo Endemic to Madagascar
Otus rutilus Madagascar scops-owl Torotoroka Endemic to Madagascar
Oxylabes madagascariensis White-throated oxylabes Sirontsirona Endemic to Madagascar
Philepitta castanea Velvet asity Asity Endemic to Madagascar
Phyllastrephus madagascariensis
or Bernieria madagascariensis
Long-billed bernieria Tretreky Endemic to Madagascar
Phyllastrephus zosterops
or Xanthomixis zosterops
Short-billed greenbul   Endemic to Madagascar
Ploceus nelicourvi Nelicourvi weaver   Endemic to Madagascar
Polyboroides radiatus Madagascar harrier-hawk Fihiaka Endemic to Madagascar
Randia pseudozosterops Rand's warbler   Endemic to Madagascar
Sarothrura insularis Madagascar flufftail Mpangalatrovy Endemic to Madagascar
Schetba rufa Rufous vanga Voronantambo Endemic to Madagascar
Streptopelia picturata
or Nesoenas picturatus
Madagascar turtle-dove Domohina  
Terpsiphone mutata Madagascar paradise-flycatcher Soketry / Tsingitry  
Treron australis Madagascar green pigeon Finengo mavo Endemic to Madagascar
Tylas eduardi Tylas vanga Kikimavo Endemic to Madagascar
Vanga curvirostris Hook-billed vanga Vanga soratra Endemic to Madagascar
Zoonavena grandidieri Madagascar spinetail Manaviandro  
Zosterops maderaspatanus Malagasy white-eye Tsiparimaso  


Tenrecs

There are 9 species of tenrecs in the park.

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity
Hemicentetes semispinosus Lowland streaked tenrec Antsora Endemic to Madagascar
Microgale brevicaudata Short-tailed shrew tenrec   Endemic to Madagascar
Microgale dobsoni Dobson's shrew tenrec   Endemic to Madagascar
Microgale parvula Pygmy shrew tenrec   Endemic to Madagascar
Microgale principula Greater long-tailed shrew tenrec   Endemic to Madagascar
Microgale talazaci Talzac's shrew tenrec   Endemic to Madagascar
Oryzorictes hova Mole-like rice tenrec Antsangy Endemic to Madagascar
Setifer setosus Greater hedgehog tenrec Sokina Endemic to Madagascar
Tenrec ecaudatus Tailess tenrec Trandraka Endemic to Madagascar


Rodents

There are 7 rodent species in the park.

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity
Suncus murinus House shrew    
Eliurus grandidieri Grandidier's tuft-tailed rat   Endemic to Madagascar
Eliurus minor Lesser tufted-tailed rat   Endemic to Madagascar
Eliurus myoxinus Western tuft-tailed rat   Endemic to Madagascar
Eliurus tanala Tanala tuft-tailed rat   Endemic to Madagascar
Eliurus webbi Webb's tuft-tailed rat   Endemic to Madagascar
Nesomys rufus Eastern red forest rat   Endemic to Madagascar


Herpetofauna - reptiles and amphibians

An overview of herpetofauna in the park:

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity
Frogs
Heterixalus betsileo Betsileo reed frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Heterixalus madagascariensis Madagascar reed frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Heterixalus punctatus     Endemic to Madagascar
Heterixalus tricolor Three-color reed frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantella betsileo Betsileo golden frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantella nigricans Guibé's mantella   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantella pulchra Parker's golden frog   Locally endemic
Mantidactylus aglavei
now Spinomantis aglavei
Anamalozoatra Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus albofrenatus Eastern Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus ambreensis     Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus argenteus Folohy Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus asper
now Gephyromantis asper
East Betsileo Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus betsileanus Betsileo Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus bicalcaratus
now Guibemantis bicalcaratus
Sainte Marie Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus biporus Two-pore Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus glomersae      
Mantidactylus boulengeri
now Gephyromantis boulengeri
    Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus cormicus      
Mantidactylus femoralis Fort Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus fimbriatus
now Spinomantis fimbriatus
    Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus grandidieri Grandidier's Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus grandisonae
now Blommersia grandisonae
Ambrana Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus granulatus
now Gephyromantis granulatus
Grainy Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus bicalcaratus
now Guibemantis bicalcaratus
Sainte Marie Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus clemerii      
Mantidactylus leucomaculatus
now Gephyromantis leucomaculatus
White-spotted Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus liber
now Guibemantis liber
Free Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus lugubris
Dumeril's Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus luteus
now Gephyromantis luteus
White Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus malagasius
now Gephyromantis malagasius
Malasay Grainy Frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus ocarbii      
Mantidactylus opiparis Central Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus terakae      
Mantidactylus plucifer Common Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus pseudoasper
now Gephyromantis pseudoasper
Massif Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus pulcher
now Guibemantis pulcher
Tsarafidy Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus redimitus
now Gephyromantis redimitus
    Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus rivicola
now Gephyromantis rivicola
    Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus tornieri
now Guibemantis tornieri
    Endemic to Madagascar
Mantidactylus wittei
now Blommersia wittei
Witte's Madagascar frog   Endemic to Madagascar
Geckos
Blaesodactylus antongilensis     Endemic to Madagascar
Edoneva inensus      
Geckolepis maculata Fish-scale gecko Fingoko  
Geckolepis typica Grandidier's Gecko Fingoko Endemic to Madagascar
Hemidactylus frenatus Common house gecko    
Hemidactylus mercatorius      
Lygodactylus guibei Western dwarf gecko   Endemic to Madagascar
Lygodactylus miops Günther's dwarf gecko   Endemic to Madagascar
Paroedura gracilis Graceful Madagascar ground gecko   Endemic to Madagascar
Phelsuma dorsivittata   Antsasatra Endemic to Madagascar
Phelsuma lineata bifasciata
or Phelsuma lineata lineata
Lined day gecko Antsasatra Endemic to Madagascar
Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis Madagascar day gecko Antsasatra Endemic to Madagascar
Phelsuma pusilla pusilla   Antsasatra Endemic to Madagascar
Phelsuma serraticauda Flat-tailed day gecko Antsasatra Endemic to Madagascar
Uroplatus fimbriatus Common flat-tail gecko Antaifisaka Endemic to Madagascar
Uroplatus lineatus Lined flat-tail gecko Antaifisaka Endemic to Madagascar
Uroplatus sikorae Mossy leaf-tailed gecko Antaifisaka Endemic to Madagascar
Chameleons
Brookesia griveaudi Marojejy leaf chameleon Ranovary Endemic to Madagascar
Brookesia peyrierasi Peyrieras's pygmy chameleon Ranovary Endemic to Madagascar
Brookesia superciliaris Brown leaf chameleon Ranovary Endemic to Madagascar
Calumma gastrotaenia Short-nosed chameleon Tandrondro Endemic to Madagascar
Calumma nasutum Nose-horned chameleon Tandrondro Endemic to Madagascar
Furcifer lateralis Carpet chameleon Taintotro Endemic to Madagascar
Furcifer oustaleti Oustalet's chameleon Taintotro Endemic to Madagascar
Furcifer pardalis Panther chameleon Taintotro  
Skinks
Amphiglossus anosyensis     Endemic to Madagascar
Amphiglossus astrolabi Diving Skink   Endemic to Madagascar
Amphiglossus frontoparietalis Boulenger's Tree Skink   Endemic to Madagascar
Amphiglossus melanopleura
now Madascincus melanopleura
Common Madagascar Skink   Endemic to Madagascar
Amphiglossus ornaticeps Gray Skink   Endemic to Madagascar
Trachylepis gravenhorstii Gravenhorst's mabuya   Endemic to Madagascar
Lizards
Zonosaurus gregoir   Androngo  
Zonosaurus madagascariensis Madagascar girdled lizard Androngo  
Snakes
Sanzinia madagascariensis Madagascar tree boa   Endemic to Madagascar
Dromicodryas bernieri Bernier's striped snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Geodipsas infralineata
now Compsophis infralineatus
Lined forest snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Ithycyphus perineti Perinet's night-snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Leioheterodon madagascariensis Malagasy giant hognose snake Mantingoro  
Liophidium rhodogaster Gold-collared snake Lapata Endemic to Madagascar
Liopholidophis lateralis
now Thamnosophis lateralis
Lateral water snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Liopholidophis thieli
now Thamnosophis infrasignatus
Forest water snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Madagascarophis colubrinus Madagascar night snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Macropisthodon ochraceus      
Pseudoxyrhopus heterurus Night brook snake Mantsiviry Endemic to Madagascar
Pseudoxyrhopus microps Brown brook snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Pelamis platurus
now Hydrophis platurus
Yellow-bellied sea snake    
Stenophis arctifasciatus
now Phisalixella arctifasciata
    Endemic to Madagascar
Typhlops decorsei Mocquard's worm snake   Endemic to Madagascar
Turtles
Caretta caretta Loggerhead turtle Fano  
Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill turtle Fanosisiky  


Marine life - fish

An overview of the marine life in the park:

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity
Ablennes hians Flat needlefish Antseraka  
Acanthurus xanthopterus Yellowfin surgeonfish Henalaza  
Acanthurus triostegus Convict surgeonfish Rarinkigny  
Albula glossodonta Shortjaw bonefish Fiamandry  
Alepes djedaba Shrimp scad Boniky  
Anampses caeruleopunctatus Bluespotted wrasse Kalama  
Caesio sp.      
Carangoides armatus Longfin trevally Lagnaorana  
Cephalopholis sonnerati Tomato hind (Bête rouge)  
Chaetodon fasciatus Diagonal butterflyfish Tatangy  
Chaetodon lunula Halfmoon butterflyfish Tatangy  
Chaetodon trifasciatus Lineated butterflyfish Tatangy  
Cheilinus fasciatus Redbreasted wrasse Bekoravina  
Cheilinus trilobatus Tripletail wrasse Bekoravina  
Cheilio inermis Cigar wrasse Laoko ahitra  
Chirocentrus nudus Whitefin wolf-herring Laotsabatra  
Coris aygula Clown coris Ramihamigny  
Ctenochaetus striatus Striped bristletooth Henalaza  
Dascyllus aruanus Whitetail dascyllus Tsigoagoaka  
Drepane punctata Spotted sicklefish Takobatra  
Echeneis naucrates Whitefin sharksucker Amby  
Epinephelus posteli Striped fin rockcod Alovo  
Epinephelus tauvina Greasy grouper Alovo  
Gerres acinaces Smallscale pursemouth Fiampotsy  
Gymnothorax permistus
now Gymnothorax favagineus
Laced moray    
Hemiramphus far Black-barred halfbeak Antserabandana  
Kyphosus cinerascens Blue sea chub Torovoko  
Leiognathus equulus Common ponyfish Salelo  
Leptoscarus vaigiensis Marbled parrotfish Laoko ahitra  
Lethrinus elongatus
now Lethrinus microdon
Smalltooth emperor Ambitry lavaorona  
Lethrinus harak Thumbprint emperor Mandrantongona  
Lethrinus lentjan Pinkear emperor Menaheliky  
Lethrinus mahsena Sky emperor Aleta  
Lethrinus nebulosus Spangled emperor Ambitry  
Lethrinus ramak
now Lethrinus obsoletus
Orange-striped emperor Ambitry fotsy  
Lethrinus rubrioperculatus Spotcheek emperor Menavalogno  


Flora

The best flora most visible to tourists:

Scientific name English name Malagasy name Endemicity Where to find When to find
Galeola humblotii   Lavanioala Locally endemic Ivontaka Sud Circuit All year round
Dypsis antanambensis Vontro rano Locally endemic PK 8 Circuit All year round
Dypsis ramentacea   Sinkara Locally endemic PK 8 Circuit All year round
Satranala decussilvae   Satranala Locally endemic PK 8 Circuit, Ivontaka Sud Circuit, Varary Circuit All year round
Dypsis beentjei     Locally endemic PK 8 Circuit All year round
Dypsis fanjana   Fanjana Locally endemic PK 8 Circuit All year round
Voanioala sp.   Voanioala Locally endemic Vohitrampongy Circuit, Verezanantsoro Circuit All year round


The Mananara Nord National Park counts:

On the terrestrial flora,

  • more than 764 primary forest species
  • 436 modified forest species,

totalling more than 1200 species of vascular plants including

  • 54 Cryptogams (Pteridophytes) - disperse spores
  • 108 Angiosperms (Monocotyledons) - flowering plants
  • 861 Angiosperms (Dicotyledons)
  • 1 Gymnosperm - seed-producing plants.


These terrestrial ecosystem species are distributed in approximately

  • 418 genera
  • 117 families


The families most diverse in species are

  • 66 species of Rubiaceae - family of flowering plants, commonly known as the coffee family
  • 50 species of Euphorbiaceae - family of flowering plants, the spurge family
  • 47 species of Arecaceae - family of perennial plants, commonly known as palms
  • Fabaceae - family of flowering plants, commonly known as the legume, pea or bean family
  • Flacourtiaceae - defunct family of flowering plants
  • 27 species of Sapotaceae - family of flowering plants, evergreen trees and shrubs.


The palm group is the particularity of Mananara Nord National Park. It can be seen from sea level to the peak of Verezanantsoro. Currently, there are 47 including at least 2 locally endemic palm species. These are Dypsis antanambensis and Dypsis linearis (Dypsis anovensis).


On the marine flora,

  • 114 species in 3 different habitats.


The seagrass counts:

  • 32 species of Algae
  • 9 species of Phanerogams - seed plants.


The mangroves are home to:

  • 7 out of 9 mangrove species found in Madagascar.


On the islands of Nosy Atafana, Nosy Rangontsy and Nosy Hely grow 98 species of plants.

Of the 3 types of littoral forest (near sea level on laterite, sand and granite blocks) in the reserve, those of the islands of the marine park are the poorest in species.


Habitats

The terrestrial park includes a terrestrial ecosystem with two types of plant formations:

  • low-altitude rainforest
  • savoka - secondary vegetation made up of different types
    • Psiadia altissima
    • Trema orientalis
    • Harungana madagascariensis
    • Ravenala madagascariensis
    • Anthostema madagascariensis
    • Uapaca ferruginea.

These different types of formation grow on the ground generally ferralitic and rest on the crystalline base: granite of Antongil and migmatite of Mananara.

In addition to these two types of formations encountered in the park, there are also the coastal forests growing along the coast and mainly between Antanambe and Anove.


In the marine park following types of environment are distinguished:

  • mangroves
  • grass beds
  • inner flats
  • external slopes,
  • rocky cliffs
  • passes.

Among these environments are the inner flats and the external slopes north, south and west which are the richest in fish species.


How to get there

By road from Antananarivo to Toamasina on RN2, then Toamasina to Mananara Nord on RN5. There is a paved road from Toamasina to Soanierana Ivongo and thereafter a secondary road from Soanierana Ivongo to Mananara. The roads are accessible all year round, but in poor condition. The total travel time from Antananarivo to the park is two to three days.

By taxi brousse from Antananarivo (Ambodivona bus station) to Toamasina and then from Toamasina (Tanambao V bus station) to Mananara.

By boat from Mananara to the park (1-1.5 hour by speedboat, 3-4 hours by slow boat), or from Antanambe to the park (45 minutes by speedboat). From Soanierana Ivongo or Sainte Marie to Mananara it takes 5 hours by boat respectively. The sea is calm from April to October.


Guides and entrance fees

There are two park offices located in Antanambe and Mananara (Mahambolona). There you can get all the information regarding guides, tours, admission fees within the park and guide rates.

There are several guides available for your visit to the park. They all speak French and English and have received training in guiding techniques and flora and fauna.

The admission fee for visiting the park for foreign tourists is 45,000 Ariary per day, children pay 25,000 Ariary per day (prices 2015). Guides are obligatory. The fee for a guide depends on the chosen tour (circuit). There are also porters available. The fee for a porter is 12,000 Ariary per day, including his meals and accommodation.


Circuits (Tours)

Verezanantsoro Circuit

Medium circuit, 20km in one day. Sudden climate change: rain, temperature difference between sunny area and in dense forest area.

What to see?
You will cross cloves and vanilla plantations in a beautiful landscape along the coast, amazing panoramic view before diving into the heart of a low-altitude forest with exceptional biodiversity such as lemurs (Indri, Black-and-white ruffed lemur), birds…
Guide with car: 30,000 Ariary, porter: 15,000 Ariary (2015)


Nosy Antafana Circuit

Easy circuit, 16km trekking for half a day during the calm sea period (October to April).

What to see?
First marine site created in Madagascar and among the most beautiful reefs of the Indian Ocean, Nosy Antafana is like a giant aquarium where beach, mangrove, coastal forest and dive site are wonders of nature.
It is a day of swimming, diving and relaxing. During a walk in the coastal forest you will see seabirds and their nests and flying foxes. Be curious to hear about the legend of Nosy Antafana and that of "Rangotsy".
Guide with car: 30,000 Ariary, porter: 15,000 Ariary (2015)


Ivontaka Sud Circuit

Difficult and sporty circuit, 16km trekking from Sahasoa. Steep slope on the eastern side. Abrupt climate change, big temperature difference between the sunny zone and under dense forest area.

What to see?
Through the development of agricultural lands for cash crops and food crops you will climb slowly with beautiful panoramic views. In the dense forest you will see lemurs (Indri, Black-and-white ruffed lemur, Brown lemur), flora (endemic plants, orchids) and birds (Helmet vanga, Madagascar crested ibis). You will also pass a natural swimming pool and coastal landscape.
Guide with car: 30,000 Ariary, porter: 15,000 Ariary (2015)


Varary Circuit

Difficult circuit, 16km trekking, 2 days.

What to see?
Enjoy the agricultural landscapes and discover a rich fauna and flora and the best panoramas of the park.
Guide with car: 30,000 Ariary, porter: 15,000 Ariary (2015)


Combined Fanihy Circuit - Rangontsy Circuit, Diving Circuit

Guide with car: 30,000 Ariary, porter: 15,000 Ariary (2015)


Tourist attractions in the area (outside the protected area)

Antanambao Mandrisy Community Tours for village tourism

Accessible by 4x4, motorcycle or foot. The terrestrial tour starts 1.7km west of the village Antanambao Mandrisy. Near the village are mangroves and the beach.

What to see?
The tour is managed by a women's organisation in collaboration with Madagascar National Parks. On location, there is a lodge with two bungalows, family room, restaurant and information boards about the proposed tours. You can either go on a mangroves and beach tour or you can visit the coastal forest and discover agro-ecological landscape, a waterfall and the Betsimisaraka culture.


Sahasoa Community Tour for village tourism

1km from the village of Sahasoa.

What to see?
This tour is managed by a women's organisation in collaboration with Madagascar National Parks. On location, there is a seaside lodge with two bungalows, family room, restaurant and information boards about the proposed tours. You can go on a tour through agro-ecologial landscape, visit a historic cave and learn about the Betsimisaraka culture.


Andavakandrehy Tour

Accessible by 4x4, motorcycle, mountainbike or foot. The terrestrial tour starts 1.7km west of the village Antanambao Mandrisy. Near the village are mangroves and beach. The tour starts 6km south of Mananara (3km driveable).

What to see?
You will see National Culutral Heritage - an ancient tomb and historic cave. You will walk through agro-ecologial landscape and discover the Betsimisaraka culture.


Habits and customs in the region

Tsaboraha is a widespread traditional custom in the Eastern region. By bringing the whole community together, it is a ceremony that strengthens social bonds. During those three days, the tsaboraha requires the participation of all.

After the initiating family has obtained the permission from ancestral spirits, men, women and children of the region actively participate in the preparation of the ritual. At each of the many steps, large quantities of betsabetsa (traditional rum) are distributed. The men will cut the wood that the children collected in the surrounding forests, while the women prepare the rice.

The young men of the village participate in tolon'omby, a form of bullfighting with a strong young bull which is marked with a white spot on the forehead. Once tamed, the animal is taken to "Fijoroana", a sacred place where it will be sacrificed the next day after a festive vigil and the search of the sacred tree during the night. After the killing, the body of the zebu is shared and prepared for a feast that can gather up to a thousand people.


A Jôro consists of making an offering to the ancestors as a recognition of the benefits they have kindly granted or wish to grant in the near future.


Rasariagna is a kind of joro by the Betsimisaraka to commemorate the good deeds of their ancestors. They do this to thank their ancestors and to signify them that they are not forgotten. The rasariagna always takes place on a Saturday.


Tsikafara is a joro that the Betsimisaraka perform when faced with difficulty. Before an examination or any test, they will make an offering to the ancestors to ask for their support in solving the task without obstacles. It is a vow made in private or in public. But in every situation, if successful the vow must be fulfilled.


Cultural highlights in the region

  • Historical
    • The story of Nosy Antafana is much attached to a certain Rangontsy, a seer who lived in the village of Sahasoa in the mid-nineteenth century, originally coming from the Vohemar region in northeastern Madagascar. Nosy Rangontsy, the second island of Mananara Nord Biosphere Reserve, is named after him. It is also the place where his tomb is located.
    • the origin of the village of Antanambe and the town of Mananara and its name
    • the unification pact of the Betsimisaraka in Ambitsika by Ratsimilaho
    • history of the origin of zanamalata (son of a mulatto)
    • history of Ambatifitra and Amboavavy
    • history of Antivarikandana with the Sambiarivo of Andavakandrehy
    • history of Ambatonakolahy
  • Custom
    • respect towards the elders (olombe)
  • Fady (forbidden, tabou)
    • fady days: Tuesday and Thursday
    • fady food: goat meat, beef without horns (omby bory), a certain pea (voanjobory), pig meat (for some people)
  • Holy places
    • Nosy Rangtonsy, tombs and ancient tombs (Sambiarivo)
  • Legend
    • about Rangontsy (originally the name of the second island of the marine park)
    • of Soalahy (the origin of the name of the village Sahasoa, that is to say Sahanisoalahy)
    • of Zafindrainibanda (the descendants of pirates)
    • Amboavavy (Antsirabe Fontsiarivo)
    • Antivarikandana (Sahave)
  • Anecdotes
    • the origin of the word zanamalata, which designates the tribe considered as owners of the town of Mananara and its surroundings, comes from the French word mulâtre (mulatto)
    • the origin of the word zafindrainibanda, which designates the tribe considered bloodthirsty, comes from the French word bandit (bandit)


Specialties of the region

  • Crafts
    • basketry, carpentry
  • Cuisine
    • coconut based cuisine (octopus with coconut, coconut fish, coconut cassava leaves, sahoaba - banana with coconut,...)
  • Vegetables and fruits
    • coconut, banana, breadfruit, lychees, jackfruit, anamalao (flowering herb), angivy (little eggplant)
    • clove, largest producer in Madagascar
    • vanilla, 1st producer in Toamasina province
    • coffee
  • Farming
    • cattle
    • poultry (chicken and waterfowl)
    • beekeeping
    • pigs (more and more popular)
  • Market
    • takes place during the fady days of Tuesday and Thursday, when it is not allowed to work on the fields, especially to grow rice. It is gaining momentum during the green vanilla season in the months of June to September.


Population

There are over 186 villages and hamlets. A large part of the population is farmers. The dominant agricultural activity is rice cultivation (slash/burn and irrigated) and cash crops. Mananara is the largest producer of cloves in Madagascar, of vanilla in the Toamasina province and is also one of the largest coffee producers. As for fishing, despite the strong potential, fishery resources are still underutilised in Mananara.

The majority of the population consists of the Betsimisaraka ethnic group with a strong presence of Tsimihety and Métis Chinese (mixed-race), Betsileo and Merina. Most of the people live in the fertile valleys of Mananara, Sandrakatsy, Saharamy and Manambato.


Accommodation in the park

Ecotourism lodge of Nosy Antafana
Bed & breakfast

Community Lodge Antanambao-Mandrisy


Mananara Nord National Park