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Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, Madagascar – April 15th, 2010

22.6S 44.7E

April 15th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Madagascar - March 5th, 2010

Madagascar - March 5th, 2010

The dark green patches near the center of this image, south of the Mangoky River, is the Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park in southwest Madagascar. The park was established in 1997 and covers 363 km² of dry forest, marshes, and savannas.

It is located on the southwest of Madagascar about 90km west of Isalo National Park and 20km northeast of Sakaraha. The Park is divided into three different sections: Zombitse (168 km²), Vohibasia (161 km²) and Vohimena Isoky (32 km²).

This National Park can personify the biggest environmental problem of Madagascar: deforestation. Hundreds of years of slash-and-burn agriculture and tree falling have turned the landscape into an arid and almost lifeless plateau. Only a patch of protected forest remains nowadays in the middle of this devastation, giving shelter to an abundant fauna and flora biodiversity.

These isolated forests constitute the most important remnant of dry deciduous forest of Madagascar. Zombitse-Vohibasia acts as a transition zone between the dry and the humid forests of Madagascar. Therefore the flora is especially rich within the protected area. Baobabs and several orchids are particulary common.

The number of animal species living here is also remarkable, including 15 species of small mammals, 85 species of birds, 33 reptile and 8 amphibian species. The park shelters 47% of the endemic birds of Madagascar.

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