Building peace in the minds of men and women

Littoral de Toliara Biosphere Reserve, Madagascar

This site straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, covering some 200,000 ha along the south west coast of Madagascar, and takes its name from the town of Toliara.

Designation date: 2003

Photo gallery ǀ  Press release


Regional network: AfriMAB

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface: 200,470 ha

    • Core area(s) : 2,066 ha (terrestrial); 166 ha (marine)
    • Buffer zone(s): 21,700 ha (terrestrial); 16,200 ha (marine)
    • Tansition zone(s): 140,704 ha (terrestrial); 19,634 ha (marine)

    Location: 22°50’00’’ - 23°55’00’’ S; 43°30’00’’ – 46°40’00’’ E

    Administrative authorities

    PNM-ANGAP/ Siège
    BP: 1424
    Ambatobe 103

    Tel.: +261 344941538


    Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter



    Ecological Characteristics

    This site straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, covering some 200,000 ha along the southwest coast of Madagascar, and takes its name from the town of Toliara. It contains a mix of mainland dry thorny woodlands, gallery forests, limestone caves with freshwater springs, marshlands, mangroves, sand dunes and beaches, coral reefs and marine trenches. The level of endemism is exceptionally high, with 85% for plants and over 95% for mammals (notably lemurs) and birds. Marine life is noted especially for the coelacanth, the “living fossil” fish.

    Forest habitats of dry, thorny forests with baobabs and Didiereaceae on red sand; thorny bush with Euphorbiaceae on limestone substrata, thorny dune bush, with white dunesand sands, riparian forests.

    Degraded vegetation areas; savannahs, steppes.

    Humid zones, lake systems, mangroves, phanerogamae grasslands.

    Caves, underground rivers and springs (7 lakes region, caves around Sarodrano, coastal part of APMC Natural and semi-natural salt swamps: on sand and saltalluvium behind the chains of dunes ( Belalanda, Ankilibe) Reefs, islands (Nosy Ve, Nosy Satrana)

    Continental shelf and marine canyon: Large reefs and St Augustin’s canyon.

    Socio-economic characteristics

    There are 17 small core areas with different regimes, including traditionally protected sacred sites and areas under the GELOSE system of protection through contracts with local communities. This is a priority area for the National Environmental Action Plan for Madagascar, which has divided the biosphere reserve into three zones to facilitate management: a northern zone with some ten villages of fishermen, small farmers and charcoal workers; a central zone which includes the town of Toliara with over 206,000 inhabitants engaged in fishing, ecotourism, trade and services; and a southern, less densely populated zone. There are numerous applied and basic research and monitoring projects, involving local, national and foreign institutions; an objective of the Biosphere Reserve is to coordinate such work in line with the integrated coastal zone management concept.


    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Madagascar
    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Africa
    Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: January 2019