Working for birds in Africa


Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:37 -- abc_admin

See also the IBAs section.

The islets of the Mohéli Marine Park with their dry or non-existent vegetation are remarkable. Their importance lies in their attraction for sea birds. This National Park has a legal structure which is at present managed by the "Global Environmental Facility" of the World Bank. At the termination of the project, the Park should be able to manage itself. Ecotourism should then provide its source of income. The site covers an area of about 40,000 hectares. On the coast, the boundary is along the line of the shore between the Ngouni headland between the villages of Itsamia and Hagnamoida, and the Mna Issiouani headland between the villages of Miringoni and Ouallah-Mirereni passing through the village of Nioumachoua. On the seaward side, the Park extends out to a depth of 100 metres. The beaches, mangrove swamps and all the islets are included in the Park. Access is regulated by the Park officials and ecoguides are available. This is a good site for marine birds.

Moya-Papani, Mayotte is situated on the north-east coast of Petite Terre (Mayotte) and is linked with a specific geology dating from approximately 10,000 years ago. Petite Terre constitutes one of the rare examples in the world of a volcanic system crossing a coral barrier. Since its creation, marine erosion has sculpted spectacular landscapes of beaches and cliffs, with exceptional ecological constituents. The cliffs shelters specific fauna and flora, while the beaches represent the second nesting site in Mayotte for turtles. This site is important for tropicbirds.

The lagoon of Pamandzl, or "Vasière des Badamiers", Mayotte. To the north of Dzaoudzi-Labattoir (Petite Terre, Mayotte), the coastal currents have created a detrital cordon beyond which a mud-pool has been formed progressively where brackish water undergoes a significant level range because of the tides. This biotope contains three successive habitats: a rocky area formed by the remains of the fringing reef, a mangrove swamp and a mud-pool which is sometimes uncovered, sometimes submerged. The three habitats are an important refuge for waders, herons (Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti has been seen here for the last few years) and hundreds of terns during the migration or wintering periods. The mud-pool also attracts Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola, a bird which is present throughout the west of the Indian Ocean, but whose favourite sites are tending to become rarer. This site is unique in the Comoros, and Madagascar or the African coasts are the nearest sites with an equal abundance of this species.

Lake Dziani Karehani, Mayotte. Before the holding lake of Combani was filled in, Dziani Karehani was the only inland lake on Mayotte. This depression, filled with fresh water, is in a basin 2 km west of Combani. The surface of the lake only covers about 4 hectares but is smaller when the water level drops and the lake can become almost dry. The most spectacular plant is a kind of waterlily Nymphaea sp. with a blue flower. Efforts are being made to stop the lake from drying out. This seems to be necessary in order to guarantee the continuing presence of waterbirds. Species linked with a non-salt aquatic environment can be found, in particular Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides, Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae, Madagascar Pratincole Glareola ocularis, Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus and Allen's Gallinule Porphyrio alleni. Other possibilities could be Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti and Great White Egret Egretta alba. Red-headed Fody Foudia eminentissima is present in the Ylang-Ylang plantations between Dziani Karehani and the road.

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