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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   This site straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, covering some 200,000 ha along the southwest coast of Madagascar, and takes its name from the town of Toliara. It contains a mix of mainland dry thorny woodlands, gallery forests, limestone caves with freshwater springs, marshlands, mangroves, sand dunes and beaches, coral reefs and marine trenches. The level of endemism is exceptionally high, with 85% for plants and over 95% for mammals (notably lemurs) and birds. Marine life is noted especially for the coelacanth, the “living fossil” fish. There are 17 small core areas with different regimes, including traditionally protected sacred sites and areas under the GELOSE system of protection through contracts with local communities. This is a priority area for the National Environmental Action Plan for Madagascar, which has divided the biosphere reserve into three zones to facilitate management: a northern zone with some ten villages of fishermen, small farmers and charcoal workers; a central zone which includes the town of Toliara with over 206,000 inhabitants engaged in fishing, ecotourism, trade and services; and a southern, less densely populated zone. There are numerous applied and basic research and monitoring projects, involving local, national and foreign institutions; an objective of the Biosphere Reserve is to coordinate such work in line with the integrated coastal zone management concept.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical dry Forest and montane sclerophyllous forest.
  Major habitats & land cover types   Thorny dry forest with baobab and Didiereacea ; thorny scrub with Euphorbia spp ; littoral forest, dry savannah and grassland, mangroves, coral reefs, islands and beach systems.
  Location   22°50’00’’ - 23°55’00’’ S
43°30’00’’ – 46°40’00’’ E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   200,470
  Core area(s)   Terrestrial: 2,066 Marine: 166
  Buffer zone(s)   Terrestrial: 21,700 Marine: 16,200
  Transition area(s) when given   Terrestrial: 140,704 Marine: 19,634
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0-207 m
  Year designated   2003
  Administrative authorities   Office National de l’Environnement (ONE)
  Brief description   Research on sediment types and morphology.
Fresh and sea water monitoring: discharge, temperature…
Soil and geology
Study of Holothuria (sea cucumber) reproduction and growth.
Coral reef health and morphology. Monitoring using remote sensing technology (Landsat 7), natural resource inventory and assessment. Creation of an international reef terminology system.
Study of fish populations and sea biodiversity dynamics and evolution (sponges, crabs, turtles, lobsters, oysters…)
Collection of general data on coastal and marine biodiversity.
Mangrove vegetation study.
Impact of human activities ( agriculture and fishery) on coral reefs. Measurement of pollutants in sea products.
Study and valorization of traditional knowledge.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies, pollution, pollutants, siltation/sedimentation, soil, toxicology/toxic substances, water quality/chemistry.
  Biodiversity   Amphibians, beach/soft bottom, biology, birds, coastal/marine, coral reefs, ecology, fishes, invertebrates/insects/spiders, island systems/islands, mangrove, monitoring/methodologies, natural resources, plants, population genetics/population dynamics, species inventorying/inventory, sub-tropical and temperate rainforest/sub-tropical forest, taxonomy, tropical dry forest, tropical grassland and savanna systems, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, aquaculture/mariculture, fishery/fisheries, human health, industry, social/socio-economic aspects, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact, management issues, mapping, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address    
Office National de l’Environnement (ONE)
BP 822, Place de l’Indépendance, Antananinarenina
101 Antananarivo
  Telephone   (261) 20 22 259 99
(261) 20 22 641 06 / 07 / 11
  Fax   (261) 20 22 306 93

Last updated: 14/06/2004

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