A rapid assessment of waterbirds and the mangrove status in the Menabe Antimena Protected Area, Madagascar

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Christoph Zöckler
Solofo Ndrina Razanamahenina
Matthias Markolf


Mangroves are of great ecological importance that provide multiple ecosystem services, shelter, and habitat for many threatened waterbird species.  The mangroves of the Menabe Antimena Protected Area (MANAP) in western Madagascar are among the most extensive remaining on the island.  The remaining dryland forests of the MANAP have been subjected to immense deforestation in recent years.  Although remote sensing studies indicate that the mangrove forest loss is considerably lower than the dryland forest loss, little is known about the mangroves’ degradation status.  Furthermore, detailed information on bird diversity and numbers is scattered, and previous surveys focused on northern parts of the MANAP, recently designated as the Wetlands of the Tsiribihina RAMSAR site.  This study aims to assess bird diversity and abundance, as well as the status of mangroves in the MANAP. We conducted a rapid survey using direct observations at three sites along the coastal regions of the MANAP from 24 Sep–2 Oct 2019.  We recorded 71 species of birds in the mangroves and coastal wetlands.  High numbers of individuals were counted for several species.  Numbers of the Madagascar Plover Charadrius thoracicus and the Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri fulfill criteria for important bird areas at single survey sites and the site is likely to be of importance for Madagascar Sacred Ibis Threskiornis bernieri; these three species are all globally threatened.  Mangrove degradation is still limited, but numerous threats to mangroves are present.  Our results highlight the importance of the mangroves of the MANAP for several endemic bird species in Madagascar.  We provide recommendations for conservation management and future research.

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Zöckler, C., Razanamahenina, S.N. and Markolf, M. 2021. A rapid assessment of waterbirds and the mangrove status in the Menabe Antimena Protected Area, Madagascar. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 3 (Mar. 2021), 17895–17905. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6662.13.3.17895-17905.

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