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The 21 Ramsar sites of Madagascar

The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty established in 1971 for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. Wetlands are critical and extremely sensitive environments. They provide freshwater habitat for many species while providing important ecological services to people. They are sources of water and food, prevent flooding and help purify the environment. Madagascar joined the Ramsar Convention in 1998.

The 21 wetlands of Madagascar listed in the Ramsar Convention are :
- Lake Tsimanampetsotse is the first Ramsar site in Madagascar. It is a shallow alkaline salt lake with open waters and mudflats surrounded by halophytic plants that are home to large breeding colonies of flamingos and Malagasy grebe. In addition to birds, endangered mammals also inhabit the site. Bats, birds, snakes and Madagascar's emblematic blind cave fish are all supported by its underground networks of limestone streams and caves.
- The wetlands of Onilahy: located in the protected area of Amoron'i Onilahy, in the southwest of Madagascar. The site covers a 75-kilometer stretch of the lower Onilahy River. It is the habitat of different animal species of mammals; 56 reptiles, 79 species of birds; and the recently identified fish species Allenbatrachus meridionalis.
- The Barren Islands archipelago extends between 15 and 65 kilometers southwest of the city of Maintirano in the Mozambique Channel. The site is home to 39 genera of coral and 150 species of fish, five threatened bird species, five threatened marine turtle species, eight threatened shark species and the critically endangered coelacanth.
- The mangroves of Tsiribihina, in the Menabe region, include lagoons, sand banks, salt and mud beaches, swamps and arid lands, and about 20,000 hectares of mangroves (8.5% of Madagascar's mangroves).
- Lake Sofia is located in the Sofia region, in the rural district of Marotolana in northern Madagascar. The site consists of the permanent lake, swamps at Cyperaceae, rivers and streams on the upstream and downstream sides of the lake.
- The wetlands of Ambondrombe, on the plain of the lower Manambolo River in the region of Menabe, west coast of Madagascar. It is the home of the sacred ibis of Madagascar, the critically endangered Madagascar Eagle, and the freshwater turtle Erymnochelys madagascariensis.
- The Nosy Ve Androka Barrier Reef is a group of eight sites along the southern coast of Madagascar. It includes a network of coral reefs and marine habitats such as shallow water with deep water coral reefs and beaches. There are about 140 species of corals, 240 species of fish, molluscs, echinoderms and marine phanerogams.
- The Biocultural site of Antrema on the northwest coast of Madagascar consists of permanent and temporary lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries and intertidal areas as well as mangrove habitats. The wetland-forest complex is home to 220 species of plants native to Madagascar, five species of lemurs and 18 species of reptiles.
- The Bemanevika wetland complex is located in the Sofia region of northwestern Madagascar. It consists of blocks and fragments of dense tropical rainforests, mountainous rainforests, grasslands, swamps and marshes, lakes, rivers and streams.
- The Sahamalaza wetlands consist of several coastal and marine sites in the estuaries of the Maetsamalaza, Berondra and Manambaro rivers, which separate the Sahamalaza peninsula from the Maromandia coast. There are forests that are home to about 220 species of plants, about 12,800 hectares of coral reefs and 10,000 hectares of mangroves.
- The wetlands of Ankarafantsika cover 33,200 hectares in two separate areas of Ankarafantsika National Park. The site consists of a complex of six permanent lakes, rivers and streams, and Raphia swamps. The lakes, some of which are considered sacred, are a particularly important habitat for the Podocnemid of Madagascar.
- Lake Alaotra: Wetlands and watersheds includes a large lake of about 20,000 hectares, surrounded by 23,500 ha of swamps and 117,000 ha of rice fields. It is the habitat of three seriously threatened endemic species: the lemur Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis, which lives exclusively on the lake shore, in the swamps, the Red Grebe "Vivin'Alaotra" and the Madagascar Duck.
- The mangroves of Ambaro Bay cover some 54,000 hectares of the northwest coast of Madagascar, between the island of Nosy Faly in the south and Port Saint-Louis in the north. In the Ambaro Bay, mangroves extend along the entire coast and are among the most preserved and abundant. Some iconic species that live there are in danger of extinction, such as the Madagascar Fishing Eagle or the Sambirano Microcebe.

- Lake Bedo is an important site in the Menabe Region for birds and is home to migratory species such as Bernier's teal and Humblot's heron. The forest is a habitat for endemic species of lemurs and tortoises, while the Mandroatse River that feeds the site is home to endemic and endangered species such as the Marakely fish and the Nile crocodile

- The Torotorofotsy marshes and their watersheds include a permanent marsh, temporary wetlands and primary forests fragmented by agricultural areas (mainly rice fields) and secondary forests.  Extremely rich in biodiversity, the site is home to the critically endangered golden mantel frog and 100 species of birds. The site is located in the Ankeniheny-Mantadia-Zahamena forest corridor, a high priority conservation area in east-central Madagascar.

- Tsarasaotra Park in Antananarivo is a ten-hectare lake, with an islet, floodplain, and wooded edge, within the capital. It is a refuge and nesting site in the middle of the urban environment essential to the survival of 14 endemic threatened waterbird species and subspecies, including the Madagascar pond heron.

- Lake Kinkony in the Mahavavy Basin supports several local communities, which depend on fishing and rice production along the lake. The vegetation is dominated by reeds that support 45 species of aquatic birds. The site is an important food source and spawning ground for 18 species of fish and the critically endangered Madagascar bighead turtle.

- Nosivolo River and its tributaries : includes a mosaic of rivers, inland islands, lakes and swamps, remnants of dense tropical forests, highly fragmented forest galleries and irrigated farmland. The quasi-natural ecosystem has the highest concentration of endemic freshwater fish species in Madagascar: it is home to 19 endemic fish species, six endemic bird species, 10 lemur species, and 10 endemic plant species.

- The complex of four lakes in Manambolomaty is included in the protected area of Tsimembo Manambolomaty. The site is home to about 9% of the world's population of the critically endangered Madagascar fish eagle and is known for other endangered waterfowl. The presence of the critically endangered Madagascar bigheaded turtle and precious woods such as rosewood reinforce its importance for biodiversity conservation. The lakes also provide ecological services of vital importance for the economic development of the region and its populations.

- The Mandrozo wetland covers the fifth largest freshwater lake in Madagascar, surrounding marshes, irrigated rice fields, and areas of dry deciduous forest and savanna. It supports various species of aquatic birds and endangered reptiles. It is an important spawning ground and food source for fish, and it is also important for irrigation, thus serving as a source of income for hundreds of dependent families.

- The Ambondro and Sirave Lakes Complex (CLAS) is home to a variety of habitats: dune lakes, mangrove forests, intertidal zones and marshes. It is also home to many animal species such as the Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi). The Humblot's heron (Ardea humbloti), also called Madagascar heron and the Madagascar teal Anas bernieri, as well as the vulnerable black-banded plover Charadrius thoracicus also live there. This ramsar site is an important breeding and nesting site for migratory waterbirds.