Madagascar designates Nosivolo river and its affluents
The Ramsar Secretariat is delighted to announce that Madagascar has designated its 7th Site of International Importance. Situated in a rich wetland area in the eastern part of Madagascar, ‘Rivière Nosivolo et affluents’ (358,511 ha; 20°03’S 48°07’E) comprises 130 km of main river system along which flowing water, lakes, pools and irrigated lands spread throughout 200 km, including 62 inland islets. The Nosivolo near-natural ecosystem is recognised as having the highest concentration of endemic freshwater fish in Madagascar.
Most importantly, the site is home to 19 endemic fish species including the critically endangered Oxylapia polli. The diversity of fauna entails six species of endemic birds, ten species of famous lemurs and reptiles as well as ten species of endemic plants. The wetland acts as a catchment area, floodplain and retains sediment. The wide range of economic benefits of the site include handicraft production, while the natural resources provided by marshes assure sustainable fishing, rice fields and a unique pharmacopoeia.
|Sustainable management of the river with local people and authorities||Replanting along the riverbank|
Threats within the site include habitat destruction for rice cultivation and poaching for local consumption. These practices are a threat for local species such as the Mantidactylus grandidieri frog. This Wetland of International Importance should become the first protected area for fish conservation in Madagascar. Ramsar Site no. 1916.