Wetlands survey in Antsalova and Belo-Sur-Tsiribihina region, Madagascar

Rabarisoa Rivo

The survey area is located in the western part of Madagascar in the region of Antsalova and Belo-sur-Tsiribihina covering an area of about 1.2 million hectares. This region includes a huge area of wetland which presents many advantages for the local community as well as for the economy of the region: forest resources, fish and agricultural product. Recently, due to the neglect of traditional customs (which help the habitat conservation) and the lack of control of wetland use, a big threats weigh on the biodiversity by over-fishing, excessive trees cutting, marshland conversion into rice paddies. Identification of important wetland site are urgently needed for the conservation of the wetland ecosystem using waterbird and fish population as identification tools. Data on waterbird and fish distribution and ecology will contribute to gather basic information on site importance level, allowing to take adequate decision for their conservation and also for the wise use of wetlands resources by locals. The results of this project will allow us to provide basis argument necessary for the designation of other future RAMSAR sites in Madagascar.