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Biodiversity

& conservation projects

The biodiversity of Anjajavy

a treasure to discover and protect

Inventories and observations of Anjajavy’s flora and fauna show a high biological diversity with no less than 5 critically endangered, 14 endangered, and 13 vulnerable to extinction species. Most of these species are either endemic to Madagascar or the nearby region.

Each year, our naturalist visitors’ observations – scientists or amateurs – unveil a significant number of new or undescribed species. Some of them, such as the Tahina spectabilis palm, has attracted a lot of attention from the scientific community. You can already discover all the species on Inaturalist, our online inventory.

natural habitats

1

Forest

rare and precious

Classified by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) among the global conservation priorities, the dry deciduous forest is home to a plethora of rare and endemic species of fauna and flora.

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Mangroves

Vital to the ecosystem

The Anjajavy Protected Area is surrounded to the north and west by three large mangroves and their sinuous tidal channels. Hundreds of species of fish, shellfish, insects and birds rely on this habitat for food and shelter. These mangroves also actively contribute to carbon storage and sequestration.

3

A land of Baobabs

the most iconic tree of Madagascar

The Red Island boasts seven species of baobab trees, six of which are endemic. In Anjajavy, you will find three species: the Grey (Adansonia madagascariensis), the African (Adansonia digitata) and the Fony (Adansonia rubrostipa). The last one is endemic to the western coast of Madagascar and is easily identified by its red bark and distinctive bottle-shaped trunk.

4

The Tsingy

Or Limestone forests

These wide areas of limestone and friable rocks formed millions of years ago when Madagascar separated from Africa. These rock formations are also composed of fossilized shells, some of which may date back to the Jurassic period. Over the years, the rains and winds have carved the rock into impressive karst pinnacles. It's even possible to see baobabs growing on these Tsingys while cruising on the Moramba Bay.

5

A private marine reserve

The jewels of the natural heritage

Anjajavy’s peninsula is bordered by seven isolated creeks on 3,500 meters extending to the Mozambique Canal. Along this coast, a 400 meter long strip of sea is protected from fishing and hunting since the creation of the protected area of Anjajavy. The biodiversity within this marine reserve benefits from the proximity of mangroves and forests. The reserve hosts a wide variety of tropical fish. Every year, marine turtles come ashore to lay their eggs and nest a few weeks. The hatching of the eggs and the race to the sea by the baby turtles offer one of nature's most unforgettable experiences.

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A forest

Rare and precious

Classified by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) among the global conservation priorities, the dry deciduous forest is home to communities of rare and endemic species of fauna and flora.

Mangroves

Vital to the ecosystem

The Anjajavy Protected Area protects and is protected to the north and west by three large distinct mangroves and their sinuous tidal channels. Hundreds of species of fish, shellfish, insects and birds rely on this habitat for food and shelter. It is also one of the world’s most effective natural carbon sinks.

A land of Baobabs

Majestic emblem of Madagascar

The Big Island is the home of seven species of baobab trees, six of which are endemic to the island. In Anjajavy, you will meet three species: the grey (Adansonia madagascariensis), the African (Adansonia digitata) and the baobab fony (Adansonia rubrostipa). The last one, endemic to the ecoregion, is red and gold in colour with patterns that look like they were painted by hand.

The Tsingys

Or “forest of stones”

These vast areas of friable rock and limestone appeared millions of years ago and were formed when Madagascar separated from the rest of Africa. These formations are also composed of fossilized shells, some of which may date back to the Jurassic period. Over the years, the rains and winds have carved the rock, forming a landscape of supernatural beauty. It’s even possible to see baobabs growing on these Tsingys in Moramba Bay.

A private marine reserve

The jewels of the natural heritage

The private peninsula of Anjajavy le Lodge is bordered by seven isolated creeks on 3500 meters facing the Mozambique Canal. Along this coast, a 400 meter long strip of sea is protected from fishing and hunting since the construction of the protected area of Anjajavy. The marine wealth of this nature reserve benefits from the proximity of mangroves and forests. A wide variety of tropical fish can be found there in large numbers. Every year, marine turtles come to lay their eggs on these beaches, which are undoubtedly the same beach where they were born. The hatching of the eggs and the race to the sea by the baby turtles offer one of nature’s most unforgettable experiences.

the biodiversity

Lemurs

Birds

Reptiles & Amphibians

Mammals

The Lemurs

a happy cohabitation

Anjajavy peninsula hosts eight species of lemurs. They are are easy to observe in their natural environment moving freely in our gardens and surrounding forests searching for food. Besides, these adorable and harmless animals usually leap from one tree to another around the lodge.

The most acrobatic lemur is the beautiful Coquerel Sifakas, an endemic species to northwestern Madagascar. In the Protected Area, the Sifakas coexist naturally with the other diurnal and nocturnal species of lemurs.

 

A profusion of birds

a paradise for birdwatchers

Anjajavy’s inventories report the presence of more than 134 distinct species of birds in the Reserve. Many magnificent and extremely rare species of birds can be observed by naturalists and birdwatchers, many of whom are familiar with Anjajavy’s international reputation.

Anjajavy is, for example, one of the best places to see the Malagasy Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vociferous), the timid Madagascar Crested Ibis (Lophotibis cristata), or the elegant Malagasy Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis bernieri).

 

Reptiles & amphibians

a wonderful diversity

Anjajavy’s tropical climate and sunny weather create the perfect environment for roughly forty species of reptiles and amphibians. Each tree can host a gecko or a stealthy chameleon.

Snake lovers can observe nonvenomous species such as the strange leaf-nosed snake or the fabulous Madagascar boa.

Sea turtles regularly come to lay their eggs on the peninsula’s beaches, and their hatching offers us an unforgettable spectacle.

 

Small and large mammals

essential in the ecosystem

Apart from the lemurs, the Anjajavy Protected Area also has 12 species of mammals.
Some of the largest mammals are particularly conspicuous such as whales or the Fossa.

As for the smallest mammals, the peninsula hosts hedgehogs, tenrecs, bats, etc.

 

conservation projects

Giant tortoises

Aye-aye

Fossa

Reforestation

Madagascar giant tortoises

first reintroduction of the megafauna

Madagascar lost its entire community of large vertebrates between 500 and 1,300 years ago due to overexploitation of natural resources.

The giant Aldabrachelys gigantea tortoise is the only species of Madagascar’s megafauna that remained. In order to escape from men, they let themselves drift across the Mozambique Canal from Madagascar to seek refuge on the Aldabra Atoll.

The Anjajavy Protected Area was selected by Dr Miguel Pedrono, a conservation biologist, and the Malagasy Government to implement the first reintroduction project of giant tortoises back to Madagascar.
The long-term objective of this innovative project is to develop a rewilding program in Anjajavy based on the establishment of a large and viable population of giant tortoises.

 

The Aye-aye lemur

an outcast welcomed to Anjajavy

With its strange-looking whitish face, yellow eyes and skeletal fingers, the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is hunted throughout Madagascar because of superstitious beliefs and its reputation as a coconut thief. This nocturnal lemur is currently in danger of extinction.

The region of Antonibe – a rural commune that includes Anjajavy – is no different. This animal has disappeared from the Anjajavy’s forest, where the elderly remember seeing it regularly during their childhood.

To preserve the species, the University of Antananarivo and a research center at the University of Omaha in the United States initiated a research program with in 2015 that led in 2018 to a project to reintroduce a female Aye-aye (Soalina) and her daughter (Kintana) into the Anjajavy Protected Area.
One of the main steps of this project was to raise awareness and educate the villagers surrounding of the Protected Area on the importance of conservation of the species.

 

The Fossa

not just a chicken thief

The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is the largest carnivorous mammal on the island of Madagascar. Despite its cougar-like features, it is actually more related to mongooses and civets. It usually preys on other mammals, reptiles, birds, fishes, etc. Yet, its diet can vary according to its habitat or the available food resource. Thanks to its slender body, semi-retractable claws and flexible legs, the fossa is an agile climber.

The Fossa is vulnerable to extinction as it is hunted for stealing chickens and cattle. A compensation fund has been set up to help villagers adapt to the presence of these animals (e.g. building special henhouses) and a Anjajavy Fossa Festival is organized every year to raise awareness among the inhabitants living around the Protected Area about the protection of these animals.

 

The reforestation campaigns

efforts to conserve the biotope

Since 2009, Anjajavy le Lodge has reforested more than 350,000 trees of non-invasive indigenous or pantropical species on the eroded areas of the Anjajavy Protected Area. Nurseries are carefully maintained around Anjajavy le Lodge. These plant species are selected according to the land and reforestation objectives.

Reforestation of fruit trees such as mango, lemon and cashew trees will provide agricultural income. Different varieties of mangroves are planted around wetlands, which will serve as a natural barrier against erosion, winds and rising water, and contribute to evapotranspiration and the balance of ecosystems.