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Mananara Nord Biosphere Reserve, Madagascar

With about 140,000 hectares, the Mananara Nord Biosphere Reserve features two major ecosystems: a terrestrial and a marine one, both of which are fundamental in providing food for the local population. The region has an exceptional biological diversity with high rates of endemism.

Since it became a Biosphere Reserve in 1990, Mananara has become ‘multidisciplinary school’ of biodiversity preservation and socio-economic development, where managers, researchers and authorities come together to find sustainable solutions.

Designation date: 1990

Photo gallery ǀ  Press release


Regional network: AfriMAB

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface: 140,000 ha

    • Core area(s) : 23,000 ha (terrestrial), 1,000 ha (marine)
    • Buffer zone(s): 44,080 ha
    • Tansition zone(s): 71,920 ha

    Location: 16°09’S - 16°39 S - 49°30’E – 49°54’ E

    Administrative authorities

    Réserve de Biosphère Mananara Nord
    B.P. 51 - Mananara Nord 511

    Tel.: +261331269260 / +261344940155


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    Ecological Characteristics

    In the coast, the Mananara Biosphere Reserve features splendid coral reefs with a very rich biodiversity, including humpback whales, dolphins and turtles. Fishermen have also reported the presence of vulnerable species, like dugongs (Dugong dugon).

    In the forest, the highest number of micro-mammals in the Eastern Ecoregion can be found, in particular a dozen of lemur species, such as the Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascarienses). A recent study also found that there are 77 bird species.




    Socio-economic characteristics

    Local population rely both in the terrestrial and in the marine area to make a living. The terrestrial transition zones are farmlands, mainly for subsistence production. Some people also make a living with forestry. One of the main products of the region is vanilla - locals have developed a characteristic technique with their hands to help the polinization process.

    On the other hand, the seaside and its abundant marine resources are favorable for fishermen. The Biosphere Reserve also receives around 150 tourists per year, though it has been increasing in the past decade.

    Mananara is also a cultural and historical place. The Andavakandrehy cave is witness of the arrival of the first settlers by the sea in the region.



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    Last updated: April 2020