Working for birds in Africa



Wed, 02/06/2013 - 14:38 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed records were published in the Bulletins of the African Bird Club and are for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

A Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos photographed at a lake c.6 km north of Toliara on 16 November 2016 (Fig. 18) was apparently just the second for Madagascar, the first having been reported in September 2008, also from the Toliara area (cf. Safford, R. J. & Hawkins, A. F. A. eds. 2013. The Birds of Africa. Vol. 8). At least two Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica were also there on the same date (RG); the species is less scarce than thought until quite recently and appears to be a regular, if highly localised, Palearctic migrant concentrated around wetlands in the south-west (cf. Gardner & Jasper 2011. Bull. ABC 18: 207–210).

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

House Sparrows Passer domesticus were observed at Mahajanga on 30 November 2015; this appears to be the first record of this invasive species on the west coast of the country (cf. Safford & Hawkins. 2013. The Birds of Africa. Vol. 8) and it is only known to be established within a 50 km radius of Toamasina, on the east coast. 

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

A Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis was photographed at the Betsiboka Estuary, Mahajanga, on 14 November 2014; there are only three previous records for Madagascar, in August 1990 and September 2008 (Safford & Hawkins 2013) and November 2013, and this appears to be the first to be documented photographically. In the harbour, at least 14 House Sparrows Passer domesticus, among them three males, were found; the species is largely restricted to within 50 km of Toamasina on the east coast, with records in Tana in 2004 (but not since) and Antsiranana in 2011 (Safford & Hawkins 2013). 

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

A downy juvenile Madagascar Rail Rallus madagascariensis in the company of at least one adult at Mananara Lodge on 29 November 2013 differed in some respects from published descriptions in having a very obvious medium pink base to the maxilla, no pale patch on the rear ear-coverts and lacking any evidence of barring on the underparts; there seems to be confusion as to whether the published description truly refers to the downy young or not, given that it mentions the presence of feathers on some tracts. On 14 November, a winter-plumaged Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis was observed on the crossing to the Masoala Peninsula, but could not be documented with photographs; there are only two previous records in Madagascar, in August 1990 and September 2008. Also between Maroansetra and Masoala, Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus, Brown Noddy Anous stolidus and Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus were recorded on 6 - 9 December.

Three Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica were observed on the island of Nosy Ve, off the south-west coast, on 19 November, further emphasising that the species appears to be a regular visitor in the boreal winter to this part of Madagascar. A Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe was photographed near Berenty, Madagascar, on 16 July 2013; the first documented record of this species for Madagascar was in December 2005, on the Anjiabe Plateau, in the north-west. Two or three House Crows Corvus splendens were found in Tamatave on 2 January 2014; these are apparently the first for Madagascar.

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

In October 2012, two species were recorded that are not included in the ABC Checklist of the birds of Madagascar and are thus apparently firsts for Madagascar: Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris (=Tryngites) subruficollis, photographed between Toliara and Ifaty, in the south-west, on 1st, and Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus, located at a small wetland along the same road on 28th. A White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus was photographed at Anakao, near Toliara, on 4 October; this species breeds on the rocky northern coast but is seldom seen in the south. A Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, a rare vagrant to the island, was found at Ifaty on 30 September. A Madagascar Plover Charadrius thoracicus was breeding at Ifaty on 30 September; as is known for this species (and other Charadrius plovers), the bird covered its two eggs with dry vegetation upon leaving the nest. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica was seen at Toliara on 4 October.


In early October 2010, a female Bernier's Vanga Oriolia bernieri was photographed in Périnet Special Reserve; this appears to be only the second confirmed record for Périnet of this scarce and patchily distributed evergreen forest species, the first, also of a single female, dating from several years ago.

An adult Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii, presumably the same individual returning for its third (?) year, was observed on Nosy Ve, off the south-west coast, on 18 October 2007. On the coast near Tulear, a Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus was seen on 15 and 17 October.

Five Madagascar Fish Eagles Haliaeetus vociferoides were seen in a single morning at Anjajavy, c.140 km north of Majunga, on the north-west coast, on 30 August 2006, with three Madagascar White Ibises Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri also there.

An adult Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii observed at the island of Nosy Ve, south-western Madagascar, on 11 November 2005 constitutes the first for the country. A pair of Madagascar Red Owls Tyto soumagnei was found at c.1,000 m elevation in Montagne d’Ambre National Park, in the far north of the island, on 10 June.

Records in October-November 2004 include the following. In the Betsiboka Delta, 36 Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri were counted on 2 November. A pair of  Madagascar Cuckoo Hawks Aviceda madagascariensis was nest building in Berenty Reserve on 26-27 October. On 21 October, a Red Knot Calidris canutuswas found at Tulear harbour; there are no published records of this species for the country, but it has been seen previously at Maroantsetra in two consecutive years. A Madagascar Long-eared Owl Asio madagascariensis was observed in a large gum tree along the main road at Périnet on 18 October and a Marsh Owl A. capensis at Nose Ve on 24th. A single Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica was spotted at Lakana Veso Resort, north of Tulear, on 8 October; this is a rare visitor with a few scattered records only.

Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus bernieri and 34 Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri were seen on the Betsiboka Delta, south of Mahajanga on 7th. On 27th, 36 Madagascar Teal were counted at the same site. A Madagascar Sparrowhawk Accipiter madagascariensis was seen at Analamazaotra ('Périnet') Special Reserve on 10th, and another observed for an extended period at Berenty Private Reserve on 14th. A male of the seldom seen Slender-billed Flufftail Sarothrura watersi was found at Anjozorobe marsh on 12th.

The sightings of Sakalava Rails Amaurornis olivieri undoubtedly constitute the most sensational report. The species was observed and photographed at Lake Ampandra, Besalampy District, on 29 November 2002 and at Lake Kinkony, in the lower Mahavavy River basin, south-west of Mahajanga, on 23-24 April and 8-9 May 2003. These sightings appear to be the best of this critically endangered species since those of Rand's expedition in March 1931.

A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was claimed from Kirindy forest on 25 October 2001; this species does not figure in Morris & Hawkins (1998, Birds of Madagascar), the most recent work on the island's avifauna.

Seawatching from Fort Dauphin in the first half of 2000 produced the following noteworthy records. A Barau's Petrel Pterodroma baraui on 30 January was the first seen from the mainland of Madagascar and the second record overall. A total of 909 Flesh-footed Shearwaters Puffinus carneipes flew north in four hours on 18 March; this constitutes the third record, second from the mainland, and by a long way the largest number recorded (in the western Indian Ocean?). A sub-adult Masked Booby Sula dactylatra feeding with the Flesh-footed Shearwaters Puffinus carneipes and Lesser Crested Terns Sterna bengalensis on debris left by feeding tuna, was also the second record for Madagascar, and the first from the coast. A White-tailed Tropicbird Phaeton lepturus flying around Fort Dauphin during the same period was a long way out of range; the species is fairly common around Nosy Be and the northern tip of Madagascar, but had never been recorded in the south. It was captured when it attempted to enter a hole in the roof of a building, and later died. At Morondava, an estimated 5,500 Lesser Crested Terns Sterna bengalensis and about 120 Caspian Terns S. caspia flew north in the last three hours of daylight on 5 May. All the Caspian Terns S. caspia and probably about half of the Lesser Crested Terns S. bengalensis were in breeding plumage. Possibly the latter were moving north to breeding grounds in the Arabian Gulf.

An adult Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti seen at Isalo National Park on 4 August 1999 constitutes the first definite record of this very rare bird away from the eastern humid forests; there are, however, similar unreported sightings. An exceptionally early adult Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica was seen at Bedo, near Kirindy on 18 September. In Andranomena Special Reserve, a Western Tylas Vanga Tylas (eduardi) albigularis, one of the rarest western forest birds, was seen on 12 September 1999.

Records from November­ - December 1997 include the following. A female Slender-billed Flufftail Sarothrura watersi responded to playback and was flushed twice from an area near Périnet on 20 November. A Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus was observed at Maroansetra on 22 November. A Little Stint Calidris minuta was at saltpans south of the Mora Mora hotel, Ifaty on 30 November. A Scaly Ground Roller Brachypteracias squamigera was seen at Mantady on 21 November. A Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, a rare migrant in Madagascar, was seen 70 km north-west of Antananarivo on 15 November and another at la Mangrove, 15 km south of Tulear on 1 December. A claim of two Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae at Périnet on 23 November remains to be confirmed; this species is only known from a single specimen collected in 1931. A male of the recently described Red-shouldered Vanga Calicalicus rufocarpalis was seen along the St Augustin road on 15 November. Records from 23­25 November from the Masoala Peninsula include a Madagascar Serpent Eagle Eutriorchis astur at Andranobe, Bernier’s Vanga Oriolia bernieri, two Helmet Vanga Euryceros prevostii on nests, and adult Dusky Tetraka Xanthomixis tenebrosa with juveniles. During surveys conducted by the ZICOMA Project, the Important Bird Areas programme in Madagascar, a flock of 67 of the endangered Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri was found in a mangrove near Tambohorano, Mahajanga, on 29 May. In October, Tsaratanana Integral Reserve and Marotandrano Special Reserve, in the north-east, were both found to hold Madagascar Serpent Eagle Eutriorchis astur, Madagascar Red Owl Tyto soumagnei and Yellow-bellied Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha. Kalambatritra Special Reserve, in the south-east, was a new site for Cryptic Warbler Cryptosylvicola randriansoloi, discovered there in November. At the same site Rufous-headed Ground Roller Atelornis crossleyi was found to be relatively common. In the south-west, several individuals of the newly described Red-shouldered Vanga Calicalicus rufocarpalis were seen in spiny scrub between Itampolo and Androka, near Ampanihy, on 6-7 August. This is well to the south of the previously recognised distribution (ZICOMA). An aerial feeding flock of c 250 Madagascar Pratincoles Glareola ocularis near Miandrivazo on 10 January constituted a remarkably large congregation.


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:15 -- abc_admin


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:14 -- abc_admin

BirdLife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

BOEDTS, Br. (2014) Observations ornithologiques aux environs d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 21(1) pp 72-81. 

BOEDTS, Br. (2010) Photospot: Observations du Faucon concolore Falco concolor dans les environs d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 17(2) pp 220-224.

BRADT, H. (9 July 2005) The Complete Guide to Madagascar. The Independent Traveller section of the the UK Independent newspaper pp 16-18.

COHEN, C., SPOTTISWOODE, C. & ROSSOUW, J. (2006) Southern African Birdfinder: where to find 1,400 birds in southern Africa and Madagascar. Struik Publishers. 

FISHPOOL, L.D.C. and EVANS M.I. editors (2001) Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority sites for conservation. Newbury and Cambridge, UK. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11). The Madagascar chapter is by PROJECT ZICOMA pages 489 - 537.

GARDNER, C.J. and JASPER, L.D. (2014) Northward range extension for Littoral Rock Thrush Monticola imerinus in south-west Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 21(1) pp 89-90. 

GARDNER, C.J. and JASPER, L.D. (2011) Status of Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica in south-west Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 18(2) pp 207-210.

HAMPE, A. (1998) Field studies on the Black Parrot Coracopsis nigra in Western Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 5(2) pp 108-113.

HAWKINS, F., SAFFORD, R., DUCKWORTH, W. & EVANS, M. (1997) Field Identification and Status of the Sunbird Ascities Neodrapanis of Madagascar ABC Bulletin 4(1) pp 36 - 41.

HAWKINS, F., RABENANDRASANA, M., VIRGINIE, M.C., MANESE, R.O., MULDER, R., ELLIS, E.R. & RAMARIASON, R. (1998) Field Observations of the Red-shouldered Vanga Calicus rufocarpalis: a newly described Malagasy endemic ABC Bulletin 5(1) pp 30 - 32.

KOENIG, P. (2009) Premiere mention du Traquet motteux Oenanthe Oenanthe pour Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 16(2) p 223.

KOENIG, P. (2012) Une importante colonie d'Ardéidés et de Threskiornithidés dans l'estuaire de la Loza au nord-ouest de Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 19(1) pp 39-41.

LANGRAND, O. & von BECHTOLSHEIM, M. (2009) Second record of Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea in Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 16(2) pp 217-218.

LINDERS, T.E.W. & LANGRAND, O. (2013) First record of House Crow Corvus splendens for Madagascar - potential impacts and suggested management of an invasive bird species. ABC Bulletin 21(2) pp 216-219.

MILLS, M.S.L. and ROGERSON, M. (2013) How to see Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata, the world’s rarest duck. ABC Bulletin 20(2) pp 210-215. 

MORRIS, P. and HAWKINS, F. (1998) Some comments on the identification of six Madagascar raptors. ABC Bulletin 5(2) pp 114-119.

MUSTOE, S.H., CAPPER, D.R., LOWEN, J.C. LEADLEY, J.D. and RAKOTOMALALA, D. (1998) Zomibtse-Vohibasia: a new national park in south-west Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 5(1) pp 39-45.

MWEMA, M. and RAZAFINDRAJAO, F. (2006) First Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens sightings in Madagascar since 1960. ABC Bulletin 13(1) pp 86-87.

RATSARALASY, M.A. (2015) New information on the nest and eggs of Long-billed Tetraka Bernieria madagascariensis. ABC Bulletin 22(2) pp 209 210.

RAVELOSON, B. and SAFFORD, R. (2012) Photospot: Juvenile Scaly Ground-roller Geobiastes squamiger. ABC Bulletin19(1) pp 79-80.

RAZAFINDRAJAO, F. (2009) Sightings of Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus in the Tsiribihina Delta, west-central Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 16(2) pp 221-222.

RENE de ROLAND, L-A., THE SEING SAM, RAKOTONDRATSIMA, M.P.H. and THORSTROM, R. (2007) Rediscovery of the Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata in northern Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 14(2) pp 171-174.

RENE de ROLAND, L-A. and THORSTROM, R. (2009) First record of Torotoroka Scops Owl Otus madagascariensis nesting on the ground. ABC Bulletin 16(1) pp 87-88.

ROLLINSON, D.P. (2015) Rare seabird sightings off north and west Madagascar, January - February 2014. ABC Bulletin 22(2) pp 204 - 208.

RUSH, C. & HODDINOTT, D. (2013) First records of Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris subruficollis and Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus for Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 21(2) pp 224-225.

SAFFORD, R. (1995) Photospot - Ground Rollers of Madagascar ABC Bulletin 2(2) pp 118 - 119.

SAFFORD, R. (2000) Photospot - Helmet Vanga ABC Bulletin 7(1) p 83.

SINCLAIR I. & LANGRAND O. (1998) Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands, Struik Publishers Ltd., Cape Town.

SOLOHERY RASAMISON, A. and WOOG, F. (2012) First record of Souimanga Sunbird Cinnyris souimanga as a host of Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus rochii, at Ankamenabe, Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 19(1) pp 56-58.

TOBIAS, J. & SEDDON, N. (2002) Reading the sand: identifying bird tracks in Madagascar's spiny forest ABC Bulletin 9(1) pp 12 - 16.

VAN ESBROECK, J. (2006) Madagascar Red Owl Tyto soumagnei in Ankarana Special Reserve, Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 13 (2) pp 205-206.

WOOG, F. (2008) Madagascar Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus newtoni far from a swamp. ABC Bulletin 15(1) pp. 85-87.

WOOG, F. (2012) Persistence of a dark form of Madagascar Magpie Robin Copsychus albospecularis in central-east Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 19(1) pp 33-38.

YAMAGISHI, S., MASUDA, T. & RAKOTOMANANA H. (1997) A field guide to the birds of Madagascar (written in Japanese and Malagasy) published in Tokyo by Kaiyusha.

YOUNG, H. Gl. and RAZAFINDRAJAO, F. (2006) Lake Bedo - a little-known wetland hotspot in Madagascar. ABC Bulletin 13(1) pp 91-95.


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:14 -- abc_admin

African Bird Club representative

Dr Rene de Roland Lily Arison
Section Oiseaux
BP 4096
101 Antananarivo

2012 report from Julien
2011 report from Julien
2010 report from Julien
2008 report from Julien

Bird recorder and checklist compiler
Clubs / contacts

Frank Hawkins
Conservation International
BP 5178
Antananarivo 101

The BirdLife partner is Asity Madagascar


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:11 -- abc_admin

Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata. A critically engangered species.

Since the colonial period, administrative, legal and technical measures have been developed and implemented to control the degradation and destruction of habitats in order to preserve biological diversity in Madagascar. These measures have included the development of a national protected area system. There are seven categories of protected area: Strict Nature Reserve; Special Reserve; National Park; Hunting Reserve; Classified Forest; Reforestation or Restoration area; and Forestry Station.

Over the last decade, the environmental sector has grown steadily in importance and has gained recognition within the country despite socio-economic and political uncertainty.

The inventory of Important Bird Areas (see IBA section) is the result of a 29 month collaboration between the National Association for the Management of Protected Areas, the Ministry of Water and Forests, and BirdLife International. This collaboration, known as the ZICOMA Project is intended to highlight those sites for which action is urgently required in order to conserve the remarkable and endemic bird fauna of Madagascar.

In common with many other countries in Africa, Madagascar has a number of environmental issues which include soil erosion resulting from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; and surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes.

Madagascar is party to many international environmental treaties: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands.

The African Bird Club made an award in 2004 for a study of the conservation biology of the endangered Madagascar Plover Charadrius thoracicus with a view to increasing public awareness.

Conservation News

2nd May 2008: Madagascar Pond-heron thrown a lifeline...

The Endangered Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae has received much-needed attention from all its range states. Delegates from nine African countries recently came together in Nairobi (Kenya) to develop a Species Action Plan to reverse the heron’s alarming population decline. The species was considered to be common half a century ago. It is now listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

The Madagascar Pond-heron breeds in Madagascar, Aldabra, Europa and Mayotte - all Western Indian Ocean Islands. Outside the breeding season it migrates to mainland Africa, where it frequents small, tree-lined freshwater pools. The estimated world population of less than 6,000 birds is spread over an area of 2 million square kilometers. There are now indications that if action is not taken soon, the species may be on a fast track to extinction.

“The number of breeding herons at one site declined from 232 birds in 2007, to none in 2008”, said Julien Ramanampamonjy, a founder member of ASITY Madagascar - an NGO dedicated to protecting Madagascar’s birds. In response, delegates attending the Nairobi workshop developed a Species Action Plan to help save the heron. In his opening remarks to the workshop, Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson (Africa Regional Director of BirdLife International) emphasised the need for not only an action plan, but also for concerted effort to implement any recommendations. “Since the Species Action Plan looks at threats and identifies priorities, it is a useful tool for advocating action to save the species”, he said.

Participants made several recommendations for action to enhance the Madagascar Pond-heron's survival. Key recommended actions include the gathering of further information on the species’s occurrence and ecology, raising its profile and protecting breeding sites.

Source: BirdLife International

23rd February 2008: In Madagascar, Pioneering a New Model for Conservation

An innovative project in Madagascar pioneered a new model for managing the country’s wetlands while also supporting the communities that depend upon these ecosystems for their livelihood. With support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, BirdLife International engaged local community associations and industrial food producers in protecting the Mahavavy-Kinkony Wetlands Complex.

The organisation also worked with government officials and representatives from local communities to establish a collaborative structure for managing the area.

In January 2007, protection for the area was assured when the government of Madagascar included the wetlands in the declaration of an additional 1 million hectares of new protected areas in the island nation. It is the largest wetlands area to be added to the country’s growing roster of protected areas.

The 268,236-hectare complex in the Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot includes lakes, rivers, marshes, shorelines, and mangroves. It is home to 12 globally threatened species of birds, reptiles, and fish. The threatened birds include endangered Madagascar Teals Anas bernieri, Madagascar Sacred Ibises Threskiornis bernieri and Sakalava Rails Amaurornis olivieri.

There is a “very high level of threat to many species, as the habitats are under so many pressures,” said Roger Safford, program and projects manager for BirdLife International.

Previously, Madagascar’s protected areas did not lend themselves to protecting a large wetlands complex inhabited by a large human population, Safford explained. BirdLife International was one of the many organisations that helped the country’s government create the new approach. The new model incorporates mechanisms for monitoring and conserving biological resources, as well as enabling local communities to participate in and ultimately, directly manage these efforts.

10th May 2007: Madagascar Expands Network of Protected Areas

Lush tropical rain forest, limestone caves, lakes, and rivers are some of the diverse ecosystems recently granted protection by the Madagascar government. The 15 new protected areas cover more than 2.4 million acres of land and are dispersed across the nation.

The largest portions of newly protected territory include 1.2 million acres of dense forest in the southeast, 684,000 acres of forests and lakes in a wetland complex on the northwest coast, and mangroves and lakes in the Menabe Central Forest. Smaller tracts on the borders of existing protected areas are designed to enhance corridors that will give wildlife space to roam and help prevent the extinction of endemic species.

Conservation of these regions will provide shelter to a number of threatened species, such as the Madagascar flat-shelled tortoise Pyxis planicauda, the ten-striped mongoose Mungotictis decemlineata and the Madagascar Sacred Ibis Threkiornis bernieri. One of the world’s most threatened primates, the greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus, survives only in the southeastern forests that are now under protection.

Benefits from these protected areas are equally significant for people, as they preserve the forests and watersheds that are crucial to local communities.

“Anyone who says conservation and development cannot work hand-in-hand is wrong,” says Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana. “It is important to stress the positive impact biodiversity conservation has on economic development and quality of life.”

In the past two years, President Ravalomanana has safeguarded nearly 5 million acres of land, bringing the country’s total area protected to more than 9 million acres and fulfilling part of his pledge to protect 10 percent of Madagascar’s territory by 2008.

22nd January 2007: Madagascar protects wetlands crucial for people and birds

One of Madagascar’s most spectacular wildlife areas - almost 3,000 km2 of tropical wetlands, forests, savannas and caves - is to be protected by law. “This is a particularly important milestone for conservation in Madagascar because these are the first large freshwater wetlands to be protected that also support a significant and dependent human population.” said Vony Raminoarisoa, Director of BirdLife International Madagascar Programme.

The Government of Madagascar granted the area a protected status for two years; a preliminary step toward the area being granted permanent protection. Another wetland, Lake Alaotra in eastern Madagascar, was also granted similar protection.

The decree came into effect this week.

The Mahavavy-Kinkony Wetlands hold all of the wetland bird species found in Western Madagascar, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. They represent key habitats for Madagascar Teal, Sakalava Rail, Madagascar Sacred Ibis and Madagascar Pond Heron. The wetlands are also one of the last refuges for Madagascar Fish Eagle, a Critically Endangered bird of prey with a population of just 220 birds.

In 1999 the wetland was declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, on account of the diverse array of threatened birds found there.

Source: BirdLife International

20th November 2006: Diving duck resurfaces...

Biologists from Madagascar have recently discovered the Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata, a species that was considered extinct by many authorities. National Director for The Peregrine Fund’s Madagascar Project & former ABC representative, Lily-Arison Rene de Roland, and field biologist, Thé Seing Sam, discovered the rare bird while conducting avian surveys in a remote part of northern Madagascar. They observed nine adults and four young that appeared to be nearly two weeks of age. Since their initial sighting, Rene de Roland and Sam have returned to the site to collect additional data and observations.

The Madagascar Pochard is one of the country’s rarest and most endangered birds. The last confirmed sighting of the species was more than a decade and a half ago at Lake Alaotra on the Central Plateau of Madagascar in 1991. The single male was captured and kept in Antananarivo Zoological and Botanical Gardens until its death one year later.

Decline of the Madagascar Pochard is likely to have begun in the 1940s and 1950s in connection with degrading lake and marshland habitat from introduced plant and fish species, conversion to rice paddies, and burning. The last certain record of multiple birds (approximately 20) on Lake Alaotra is from June 1960. Little is known about the Madagascar Pochard, an extremely secretive and often solitary bird that prefers shallow and marshy habitat. Found only on Madagascar, most of the species’ behavior and life cycle is still unknown.

Source: BirdLife International

22nd March 2006: Madagascar expands protected areas under visionary conservation policy - commitment to natural assets.

A pioneering government plan to protect much of Madagascar’s remaining forests has expanded by another 1 million hectares (2.47 million acres or 3,862 square miles), providing new hope that highly threatened species such as black-and-white ruffed lemurs, golden-crowned sifakas and Madagascar Serpent Eagles can avoid extinction.

President Marc Ravalomanana’s government increased the island-nation’s protected territory by a combined area larger than Cyprus at the end of 2005. The latest expansion, under the leadership of Minister for the Environment Hon. Gen. Sylvain Rabotoarison, keeps Madagascar on track to fulfill President Ravalomanana’s 2003 pledge to triple his nation’s total protected areas to 6 million hectares (14.82 million acres or 23,000 square miles) by 2008.

“It is important to stress the positive impact biodiversity conservation has on economic development,” President Ravalomanana said. “It is essential to use nature conservation to generate a great sense of pride among the population of Madagascar for our unique biodiversity.”

Source: Conservation International

31st January 2006: Madagascar's protected area network grows by 1 Million hectares in 2005.

The Malagasy Minister of Environment, Water, and Forests officially created three new protected areas on Dec.30, 2005, bringing a further 875,000 hectares of unique natural habitat under protection and helping the thousands of local people who live in and around them in the Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot to plan for a sustainable future.

Makira in the north-east of the island, the Ankeniheny-Zahamena corridor in the east, and Anjozorobe in the central province of Antananarivo are home to some of the island’s most threatened species of fauna and flora, including populations of many of Madagascar’s endangered lemurs such as the Indri (Indri indri) and the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata).

Together, these areas have helped the Malagasy government reach its 2005 target of 1 million hectares of new protected area, which is itself an important milestone on the way to fulfilling President Marc Ravalomanana's pledge of bringing 10 percent of the country under protected area management by 2008.

Books & Sounds

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:08 -- abc_admin

Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands covers Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles and The Comoros Islands.


Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands, Ian Sinclair & Oliver Langrand, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Available from mid May 2012. This book is now reprinting and will not be available until May 2012 at the earliest.

The first field guide to illustrate all the 359 regularly encountered species of Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, the Seychelles and the Comoros, many of them endemic to the area. Colour plates by leading bird artists; Norman Arlott, Hilary Burn, Peter Hayman and Ian Lewington. 359 distribution maps. 184 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Photographic Guide to Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands, Ian Sinclair, Oliver Langrand & Fanja Andriamialisoa, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

A selection of the most commonly encountered and striking bird species of Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Comoros and the Mascarenes. The species accounts cover the bird's appearance, basic behaviour, preferred habitats, and geographical distribution. Each species account enjoys a full page which features a colour photo, distribution map, and text in English and French. 128 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of Madagascar, Pete Morris & Frank Hawkins, A&C Black, Hardback.
Book description: 

A photographic field guide to the avifauna of Madagascar. Of 265 species of bird present on the island, no fewer than 108 are endemic and a further 25 are endemic to the Malagasy region. For convenience, text and photographs are arranged on facing pages, and with only two species per page the text is able to deal with all aspects of identification, vocalisations (many of which have not previously been described), habitat and behaviour, range, status and where to locate the species in Madagascar. 328 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Bird Sounds of Madagascar, F Hawkins & R Ranft, British Library, CD.
Book description: 

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is famed for its unique wildlife. This CD covers recordings of 127 species - the majority of which are endemics and includes almost all the species from the four endemic families - Ground Rollers, Mesites, Couas, Asities. Many of them are rare recordings, most have not been previously published. The fully annotated booklet gives details of the location and date of each recording 77 min.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Bird Sounds of Madagascar, Mayotte, Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius, Pierre Huguet and Claude Chappuis, Société d'Études Ornithologiques de France, 4 CD set
Book description: 

Voices of 327 bird species. All recordings are extensively documented in the 115-page booklet (in French and English).


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:05 -- abc_admin

Birding tours

Birding AfricaBirdfinders, Birdquest, Birding EcotoursCactus Tours, Field Guides, Rockjumper, Safari Consultants, Safariwise and Sunbird operate tours to Madagascar.

Responsible Tourism

You can find some tips on responsible tourism for travellers visiting Madagascar.


Madagascar is a poorly developed country with an infrastructure to challenge even the most independent of birders. One way to see the numerous avian endemics is on a commercial birding tour, and many visitors opt for this hassle-free option, though the country can also be easily birded by well-prepared small groups that arrange their logistics through a reputable local operator. Independent birders with sufficient time may also be able to cover most of the sites by using public transportation in the form of informal buses, known locally as “taxi-brousses”. An internal air network converts 12-24 hour marathon road journeys into 1 hour flights - highly recommended for those not on a tight budget. Malagasy and French are the official languages, though French is only widely spoken in urban areas and most of the guides in the main tourist areas also speak English.

Air Madagascar, Air France and Inter Air have flights into Madagascar. Air France flies direct from Paris. Air Madagascar flies from both Johannesburg (South Africa) and Nairobi (Kenya), while Inter Air flies from Johannesburg. The airport departure tax is always included in the price of airline tickets.

Sea travel is possible, but it's not as easy as you might expect. Cargo boats from Mombasa (Kenya) or Zanzibar (Tanzania) often travel to the Comoros islands from where several ships travel to Toamasina (Tamatave) in Madagascar. Boat travel from South Africa is surprisingly infrequent. You'll need to ask around in Durban, try the Port Authority. If you're aiming to leave Madagascar by boat, it's best to head to Toamasina (Tamatave) and enquire at the port.

All foreign visitors require a visa.


Guidebooks, travel companies and websites provide much of the advice one needs, but key points warrant repetition here: (1) be aware of the risk of malaria and seek current advice, sleep in a sealed tent or under a net and take prophylaxis as recommended; (2) always ensure you have sufficient water and some method of purification (even if this comprises a pot and a campfire for boiling); (3) do not underestimate the danger of being in the sun for too long, ensure you use sun-block, drink plenty of water and wear a hat; (4) be aware of the risk of AIDS; (5) ensure that you take a reasonably-equipped first-aid pack with you including supplies of hypodermic and suturing needles. See the following website or your own local embassy site for the latest safety and travel information: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Anyone considering a trip to Madagascar would be well advised to view the Madagascar Travel website. This site is full of practical information about travel, health, visa requirements, places of interest, a large section covering each of the national parks and much more.


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:02 -- abc_admin

The following extracts are taken from “Southern African Birdfinder: where to find 1,400 birds in southern Africa and Madagascar” by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode and Jonathan Rossouw, released by Struik Publishers in 2006. 


The Andasibe / Mantadia Area The village of Andasibe, lying in the foothills of the eastern escarpment at an altitude of 900 m above sea level makes a perfect base for exploration of the world-famous Analamazaotra Special Reserve (or “Périnet” as it’s more commonly known) and more recently created Mantadia National Park. Boasting almost all of the eastern rainforest endemics and a mere 4 hours drive east of Tana, this is the place to head for as soon as you step off your international flight. Specials: All the eastern rainforest endemics have been recorded, with the exception of Bernier’s Vanga Oriolia bernieri (though Madagascar Serpent Eagle Eutriorchis astur, Helmet Vanga Euryceros prevostii, Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae, Madagascar Yellowbrow  Crossleyia xanthophrys, Yellow-bellied Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha and Brown Mesite Mesitornis unicolor are very rare here). This is an especially good site for Madagascar Grebe Tachybaptus pelzelnii, Madagascar Crested Ibis Lophotibis cristata, Madagascar Water Rail Rallus madagascariensis, Madagascar Wood Rail Canirallus kioloides, Madagascar Long-eared Owl Asio madagascariensis, Collared Nightjar Caprimulgus enarratus, all 4 rainforest Ground Rollers, and Nuthatch-Vanga Hypositta corallirostris.

Ranomafana National Park Although it is a long day’s drive south of Tana, the 41,500 ha Ranomafana National Park offers a superb selection of eastern rainforest specials, including some that are rare or absent from the Andasibe area. Specials: Almost all of Andasibe’s specials are also present at Ranomafana, though Henst’s Goshawk Accipiter henstii, Brown Mesite Mesitornis unicolor, Madagascar Yellowbrow Crossleyia xanthophrys, Brown Emu-tail Dromaeocercus brunneus, Yellow-bellied Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha and Pollen’s Vanga Xenopirostris polleni are much easier here.

Montagne d’Ambre National Park The mid-altitude forest on Montagne d’Ambre is most famous amongst birders as the only site on Earth for the highly localized and appropriately named Amber Mountain Rock Thrush Monticola erythronotus (not on the ABC checklist. See reference (v), page 134). This beautiful bird is usually easily found in the campsite at Station Roussette, along the 200 m trail to the Petite Cascade, or along the road up to the crater lake of Lac Vert. Pitta-like Ground Roller Atelornis pittoides, Cuckoo Roller Leptosomus discolor, Short-billed Tetraka (Spectacled Greenbul) Xanthomixis zosterops and Hook-billed Vanga Vanga curvirostris are also all fairly common and easily found in the park, which lies about 30 km (an hour’s drive in a taxi) south of Antsiranana in northern Madagascar.

Andohahela National Park This recently proclaimed national park straddling the road between Tolagnaro and Berenty protects a range of habitats from eastern rainforest to Alluadia-rich “spiny desert”. Whilst most of its birds are more easily seen elsewhere, Andohahela has recently been recognised as a reliable and accessible site for the scarce and localised Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae. Enquire at the park HQ on the main road for directions to the forest, which lies at the foot of the mountains to the north.

Antananarivo (“Tana”) Almost all visitors to Madagascar fly into the country’s capital city and encounter their first Malagasy birds, usually Mascarene Martins Phedina borbonica overhead or Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides in roadside rice paddies, on the drive into town from the airport. Whilst all of Tana’s birds may be found elsewhere, birders with time to spare should consider visits to Lake Alarobia for the spectacular heronry (one of the best places to study Madagascar Pond Herons Ardeola idae in their nuptial finery) and waterfowl (formerly Meller’s Duck Anas melleri, but no recent records), and Tsimbazaza Zoo for Madagascar Grebe Tachybaptus pelzelnii, Torotoroka Scops Owl Otus madagascariensis, Hamerkop Scopus umbretta and small passerines such as Madagascar White-eye Zosterops maderaspatanus, Madagascar Mannikin Lonchura nana and Madagascar Red Fody Foudia madagascariensis.


Ifaty The surreal landscape inland of the fishing village of Ifaty hosts some of Madagascar’s strangest, most sought-after and most threatened endemics, including Subdesert Mesite Monias benschi and Long-tailed Ground Roller Uratelornis chimaera. Specials: Banded Kestrel Falco zoniventris, Subdesert Mesite Monias benschi, Madagascar Plover Charadrius thoracicus, Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canus, Running Coua Coua cursor, Green-capped Coua Coua (ruficeps) olivaceiceps, Long-tailed Ground-Roller Uratelornis chimaera,
Archbold’s Newtonia Newtonia archboldi, Thamnornis Thamnornis chloropetoides, Subdesert Brush-Warbler Nesillas (typica) lantzi, Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata and Lafresnaye’s Vanga Xenopirostris xenopirostris.

The St Augustin Road, Anakao and Nosy Ve The ~30 km track south along the coast from Toliara to the village of St Augustin (Anatsognaro) passes through unique “coral rag scrub” that is home to a handful of highly localised endemics, most famous of which is the recently discovered Red-shouldered Vanga Calicalicus rufocarpalis Specials: Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti, Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda, Madagascar Sandgrouse Pterocles personatus, Verreaux’s Coua Coua verreauxi, Littoral Rock Thrush Pseudocossyphus imerina and Red-shouldered Vanga Calicalicus rufocarpalis.

Berenty Private Reserve This island of gallery forest and spiny forest in a sea of sisal plantations is far more famous for its lemurs than for its birds. Nevertheless, Berenty is an essential site on any tour of Madagascar and a handful of its avian inhabitants are easier to find here than elsewhere on the island. Specials: Madagascar Buttonquail Turnix nigricollis, Giant Coua Coua gigas and Running Coua Coua cursor, Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canus, Torotoroka Scops Owl Otus madagascariensis, White-browed Owl Ninox superciliaris, Madagascar Green Pigeon Treron australis, Madagascar Sandgrouse Pterocles personatus, Madagascar Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda madagascariensis, Madagascar Harrier Hawk Polyboroides radiatus, Madagascar Sparrowhawk Accipiter madagascariensis, Banded Kestrel Falco zoniventris, Lafresnaye’s Vanga Xenopirostris xenopirostris and Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata.


Ampijoroa Forest Station The deciduous woodland surrounding Ampijoroa Forest Station in Ankarafantsika Nature Reserve holds the full complement of spectacular north-west Madagascar forest endemics. Specials: Madagascar Buttonquail Turnix nigricollis, Red-capped Coua Coua ruficeps, Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canus, Madagascar Sandgrouse Pterocles personatus, White-breasted Mesite Mesitornis variegatus, Madagascar Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides, Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti, Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae, Madagascar Crested Ibis Lophotibis cristata, Schlegel’s Asity Philepitta schlegeli and Van Dam’s Vanga Xenopirostris damii.


Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:01 -- abc_admin

Madagascar Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides. Amparafaka littoral, Baly bay, western part of Madagascar

Image Credit: 

Country checklist and status


We are delighted that our Corporate Sponsor iGoTerra has made its country checklists, including subspecies (IOC or Clements) as well as all other species groups like mammals, butterflies etc. available through the ABC website. The only thing required is a Basic membership / registration which is free of charge. Go to Madagascar checklists. If you are already a member of iGoTerra, you will be taken directly to the country page. In case you are not a member, you will be redirected automatically to the registration form and from there can go straight to the country page.

Endemic species

Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus
Madagascar Grebe Tachybaptus pelzelnii
Madagascar Crested Ibis Lophotibis cristata
Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri
Meller’s Duck Anas melleri
Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata
Madagascar Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda madagascariensis
Madagascar Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides
Madagascar Serpent Eagle Eutriorchis astur
Madagascar Harrier Hawk Polyboroides radiatus
Madagascar Sparrowhawk Accipiter madagascariensis
Henst’s Goshawk Accipiter henstii
Madagascar Buzzard Buteo brachypterus
Banded Kestrel Falco zoniventris
*Madagascar Partridge Margaroperdix madagascariensis
*Madagascar Buttonquail Turnix nigricollis
White-breasted Mesite Mesitornis variegatus
Brown Mesite Mesitornis unicolor
Subdesert Mesite Monias benschi
Madagascar Wood Rail Canirallus kioloides
Madagascar Flufftail Sarothrura insularis
Slender-billed Flufftail Sarothrura watersi
Madagascar Water Rail Rallus madagascariensis
Sakalava Rail Amaurornis olivieri
Madagascar Jacana Actophilornis albinucha
Madagascar Plover Charadrius thoracicus
Madagascar Snipe Gallinago macrodactyla
Madagascar Sandgrouse Pterocles personatus
Madagascar Blue Pigeon Alectroenas madagascariensis
*Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canus
Giant Coua Coua gigas
Coquerel’s Coua Coua coquereli
Red-breasted Coua Coua serriana
Red-fronted Coua Coua reynaudii
Running Coua Coua cursor
Red-capped Coua Coua ruficeps
Crested Coua Coua cristata
Verreaux’s Coua Coua verreauxi
Blue Coua Coua caerulea
Madagascar Red Owl Tyto soumagnei
Madagascar Scops Owl Otus rutilus
White-browed-Owl Ninox superciliaris
Madagascar Long-eared Owl Asio madagascariensis
Collared Nightjar Caprimulgus enarratus
Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher Ceyx madagascariensis
Short-legged Ground Roller Brachypteracias leptosomus
Scaly Ground Roller Brachypteracias squamigera
Pitta-like Ground Roller Atelornis pittoides
Rufous-headed Ground Roller Atelornis crossleyi
Long-tailed Ground Roller Uratelornis chimaera
Velvet Asity Philepitta castanea
Schlegel’s Asity Philepitta schlegeli
Wattled Asity Neodrepanis coruscans
Yellow-bellied Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha
Madagascar Bush Lark Mirafra hova
Madagascar Wagtail Motacilla flaviventris
Madagascar Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina cinerea
Madagascar Magpie-Robin Copsychus albospecularis
Littoral Rock Thrush Pseudocossyphus imerina
Forest Rock Thrush Pseudocossyphus sharpei
Benson’s Rock Thrush Pseudocossyphus bensoni
Brown Emu-tail Dromaeocercus brunneus
Grey Emu-tail Amphilais seebohmi
Madagascar Brush Warbler Nesillas typica
Madagascar Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus newtoni
Rand’s Warbler Randia pseudozosterops
Cryptic Warbler Cryptosylvicola randriansoloi
Thamnornis Thamnornis chloropetoides
Common Newtonia Newtonia brunneicauda
Dark Newtonia Newtonia amphichroa
Archbold’s Newtonia Newtonia archboldi
Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae
Long-billed Tetraka Bernieria madagascariensis
Short-billed Tetraka Xanthomixis zosterops
Appert’s Tetraka Xanthomixis apperti
Dusky Tetraka Xanthomixis tenebrosa
Grey-crowned Tetraka Xanthomixis cinereiceps
White-throated Oxylabes Oxylabes madagascariensis
Madagascar Yellowbrow Crossleyia xanthophrys
Crossley’s Babbler Mystacornis crossleyi
Madagascar Jery Neomixis tenella
Green Jery Neomixis viridis
Stripe-throated Jery Neomixis striatigula
Wedge-tailed Jery Neomixis flavoviridis
Ward’s Flycatcher Pseudobias wardi
Red-tailed Vanga Calicalicus madagascariensis
Red-shouldered Vanga Calicalicus rufocarpalis
Rufous Vanga Schetba rufa
Hook-billed Vanga Vanga curvirostris
Lafresnaye’s Vanga Xenopirostris xenopirostris
Van Dam’s Vanga Xenopirostris damii
Pollen’s Vanga Xenopirostris polleni
Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata
White-headed Vanga Artamella viridis
Chabert's Vanga Leptopterus chabert
Bernier’s Vanga Oriolia bernieri
Helmet Vanga Euryceros prevostii
Nuthatch-Vanga Hypositta corallirostris
Tylas Vanga Tylas eduardi
Madagascar Starling Saroglossa aurata
Nelicourvi Weaver Ploceus nelicourvi
Sakalava Weaver Ploceus sakalava
*Madagascar Red Fody Foudia madagascariensis
Forest Fody Foudia omissa
Madagascar Mannikin Lonchura nana

* introduced on other Indian Ocean Islands

To find out more about some of the wonderful endemic species of Madagascar, see the following feature articles on the African Bird Club website and in the Bulletin.

Ground Rollers by Roger Safford, from Bulletin of the African Bird Club, volume 2.2, August 1995.

Asities by Frank Hawkins, Roger Safford, Will Duckworth and Mike Evans, from Bulletin of the African Bird Club, volume 4.1, March 1997.

Red-shouldered Vanga by Frank Hawkins, Marc Rabenandrasana, Marie Clementine Virginie, Rabeony Orly Manese, Raoul Mulder, Emahalala Rayonné Ellis and Robert Ramariason, from Bulletin of the African Bird Club, volume 5.1, March 1998.

Helmet Vanga by Roger Safford, from Bulletin of the African Bird Club volume 7.1, March 2000.

Spiny forest by Joe Tobias and Nat Seddon, from Bulletin of the African Bird Club, volume 9.1, March 2002.

Near endemic species (found in 3 countries at most)

Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti
Madagascar Marsh Harrier Circus maillardi
Frances’s Sparrowhawk Accipiter francesiae
Madagascar Kestrel Falco newtoni
White-throated Rail Dryolimnas cuvieri
Madagascar Green Pigeon Treron australis
Madagascar Turtle Dove Streptopelia picturata
Greater Vasa Parrot Coracopsis vasa
Lesser Vasa Parrot Coracopsis nigra
Madagascar Coucal Centropus toulou
Madagascar Nightjar Caprimulgus madagascariensis
Madagascar Spinetail Zoonavena grandidieri
Madagascar Kingfisher Alcedo vintsioides
Cuckoo Roller Leptosomus discolor
Madagascar Black Bulbul Hypsipetes madagascariensis
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata
Madagascar White-eye Zosterops maderaspatanus
Madagascar Green Sunbird Cinnyris notatus
Souimanga Sunbird Cinnyris souimanga
Blue Vanga Cyanolanius madagascarinus
Madagascar Crested Drongo Dicrurus forficatus

Threatened species

Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans Vulnerable
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross Diomedea (chlororhynchos) carteri Endangered
Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus Vulnerable
White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis Vulnerable
Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus Critical
Madagascar Grebe Tachybaptus pelzelnii Vulnerable
Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae Endangered
Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti Endangered
Madagascar Sacred Ibis Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri Endangered
Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri Endangered
Meller’s Duck Anas melleri Endangered
Madagascar Pochard Aythya innotata Critical
Madagascar Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides Critical
Madagascar Serpent Eagle Eutriorchis astur Endangered
Madagascar Marsh Harrier Circus maillardi Vulnerable
White-breasted Mesite Mesitornis variegatus Vulnerable
Brown Mesite Mesitornis unicolor Vulnerable
Subdesert Mesite Monias benschi Vulnerable
Slender-billed Flufftail Sarothrura watersi Endangered
Madagascar Water Rail Rallus madagascariensis Vulnerable
Sakalava Rail Amaurornis olivieri Endangered
Madagascar Plover Charadrius thoracicus Vulnerable
Madagascar Pratincole Glareola ocularis Vulnerable
Madagascar Red Owl Tyto soumagnei Endangered
Short-legged Ground Roller Brachypteracias leptosomus Vulnerable
Scaly Ground Roller Brachypteracias squamigera Vulnerable
Long-tailed Ground Roller Uratelornis chimaera Vulnerable
Yellow-bellied Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha Vulnerable
*Amber Mountain Rock Thrush Monticola erythronotus Endangered
Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae Vulnerable
Appert’s Tetraka Xanthomixis apperti Vulnerable
Dusky Tetraka Xanthomixis tenebrosa Vulnerable
Red-shouldered Vanga Calicalicus rufocarpalis Vulnerable
Van Dam’s Vanga Xenopirostris damii Endangered
Bernier’s Vanga Oriolia bernieri Vulnerable
Helmet Vanga Euryceros prevostii Vulnerable

* Not on the ABC checklist. See reference (v), page 134.

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd. and Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands (SINCLAIR I. & LANGRAND O. 1998) .

Important Bird Areas

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 18:59 -- abc_admin

The birds show a very high degree of endemism with several bird families endemic to Madagascar and the neighbouring Comoros Islands. Over 100 species out of a total of over 200 breeding species are endemic to Madagascar. There are few terrestrial migrants as Madagascar seems to be off the usual Palearctic / African flyway.

A total of 44 species of global conservation concern occur in Madagascar, a total only exceeded in Africa by Tanzania.

49 species have a restricted range defined as covering less than 50,000 km2 and these species have been grouped by their shared distributions and habitats into five Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs), a number equalled in Africa only by South Africa: West Malagasy dry forests with 6 restricted range species; East Malagasy wet forests with 20 such species; East Malagasy wetlands with 7 such species; West Malagasy wetlands with 6 such species; and South Malagasy spiny forests with 10 such species. In addition, there are two secondary EBAs.

Madagascar can be divided into two biomes for the purposes of bird conservation, the West Malagasy biome with 24 biome restricted species and the East Malagasy biome with 45 such species. 76 of Madagascar’s endemic species and 33 endemic genera are found almost exclusively in forest.

Malagasy coastal habitats differ considerably between the east and the west of the island. The east has mostly sand beaches with little in the way of birdlife. The west is richer and more diverse with extensive mangroves, saltpans, coastal lagoons, estuaries, sandbars, sand beaches and offshore islands.

There are a remarkable 84 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) designated by BirdLife International in Madagascar. These IBAs occupy 52,797 km2 equivalent to 8.6% of the land area of Madagascar. 48 of the 84 sites do not have legal protection. The names of the IBAs and the administrative region in which they reside are as follows:

Site name Administrative region
Cape Anorontany archipelago Antsiranana
East coast of Antsiranana Antsiranana
Montagne d’Ambre National Park and Special Reserve Antsiranana
Analamera Special Reserve Antsiranana
Mitsio archipelago Antsiranana
Ankarana Special Reserve Antsiranana
Andavakoera Classified Forest Antsiranana
Lake Sahaka Hunting Reserve Antsiranana
Ambavanankarana wetlands Antsiranana
Daraina Forest Antsiranana
Nosy Be and satellite islands Antsiranana
Ampasindava Bay wetlands Antsiranana
Manongarivo Special Reserve Antsiranana
Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve and adjacent areas Antsiranana
Anjanaharibe-South Special Reserve Antsiranana
Marojejy National Park Antsiranana
Masoala National Park Antsiranana
Sahamalaza Bay wetlands Mahajanga
Ankaizina wetlands Mahajanga
Loza Bay wetlands Mahajanga
Port-Bergé wetlands Mahajanga
Ankobohobo wetlands Mahajanga
Mahajamba Bay wetlands Mahajanga
Bombetoka Bay and Marovoay wetlands Mahajanga
Mahavavy delta wetlands Mahajanga
Baly Bay National Park Mahajanga
Ankarafantsika Strict Nature Reserve and Ampijoroa Forestry Station Mahajanga
Cape Saint André Forest and wetlands Mahajanga
Marotandrano Special Reserve Mahajanga
Namoroka Tsingy Strict Nature Reserve Mahajanga
Maevatanana­Ambato-Boeni wetlands Mahajanga
Maningoza Special Reserve Mahajanga
Bemarivo Special Reserve Mahajanga
Kasijy Special Reserve Mahajanga
Tambohorano wetlands Mahajanga
Iles Barren complex Mahajanga
Bemaraha Tsingy National Park and Strict Nature Reserve Mahajanga
Bemamba wetland complex Mahajanga
Manambolomaty wetland complex and Tsimembo Classified Forest Mahajanga
Anjanaharibe Classified Forest Toamasina
Upper Rantabe Classified Forest Toamasina
Mananara-North National Park Toamasina
Ambatovaky Special Reserve Toamasina
Bidia Classified Forest Toamasina
Bezavona Classified Forest Toamasina
Lake Alaotra Toamasina
Zahamena National Park Toamasina
Betampona Strict Nature Reserve Toamasina
Mangerivola Special Reserve Toamasina
Didy and Ivondro wetlands Toamasina
Sihanaka Forest Toamasina
North Pangalanes wetlands Toamasina
Torotorofotsy wetlands Toamasina
Mantadia National Park and Analamazaotra Special Reserve Toamasina
Ankeniheny Classified Forest Toamasina
Onive Classified Forest Toamasina
Anjozorobe Forest Antananarivo
Lake Itasy Antananarivo
Wetlands of the Tsiribihina delta and upper Tsiribihina river Toliara
Menabe Forest complex Toliara
Kirindy-South Forest complex Toliara
Lake Ihotry Hunting Reserve­Mangoky Delta complex Toliara
Mangoky­Ankazoabo Forest Toliara
Mikea Forest Toliara
Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park Toliara
Analavelona Forest Toliara
Saint Augustin Forest Toliara
Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve Toliara
Tsimanampetsotse Strict Nature Reserve Toliara
Mahafaly Plateau Forest complex Toliara
Andohahela National Park—Parcel I Toliara
Tsitongambarika Classified Forest Toliara
Andohahela National Park—Parcel II Toliara
South-western coastal wetlands Toliara
Menarandra Forest Toliara
Lakes Anony and Erombo Toliara
Cape Sainte Marie Special Reserve Toliara
Zafimaniry Forest Fianarantsoa
Ranomafana National Park Fianarantsoa
Andringitra National Park Fianarantsoa
Isalo National Park Fianarantsoa
Vondrozo Classified Forest Fianarantsoa
Kalambatritra Special Reseve Fianarantsoa
Midongy-South National Park Fianarantsoa

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.


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