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Martinique Biosphere Reserve

The Martinique Biosphere Reserve presents a strong originality and an important richness of the terrestrial and marine environments, whether it is with regard to the specific processions of the various plant and animal taxonomic groups (several endemic species), or the natural habitats.  The northern part is mountainous with recent volcanic centers such as Mount Pelee, the only active volcano on the island. The southern part is made up of ancient volcanic centers, partially eroded, called mornes, mixed with plains. Finally, the central part gathers most of the plains, generally small and fragmented.  Marked by its history, Martinique has a cultural heritage of great richness, where the customs of multiple continents were combined to form its own traditions and culture. The population is very attached to the transmission of this heritage and many associations are involved in this field. 

Designation date: 2021


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 4 924 768,63 ha

    • Core area(s): 8,299.62 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 283,491.25 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 4,632,977.76 ha

    Location: 14°58.42’N – 60°13.22’W

    Administrative Authorities

    Martinique Biosphere Reserve

    Agence Corida, Route de Palmiste
    97232 Le Lamentin, France



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    Ecological Characteristics

    The main ecosystems are forests (coastal, xerophilous, mesophilous, hygrophilous, mountain), rivers, wetlands and islets. On the marine side, there are beaches and foreshores, mangroves as well as coral reefs and marine magnoliophyte beds. 

    Martinique is included in the endemic area for birds "Lesser Antilles". It has 18 of the 33 restricted species inventoried there, including one endemic species classified as globally threatened, Icterus bonana (VU). It is a species that frequents different types of habitats and can be observed almost everywhere on the island. 

    In order to protect and conserve sedentary breeding and migratory birds in Martinique, the Etang des Salines, an exceptional site in Martinique, has been listed in the Ramsar Convention.


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    About 363,480 people live in Martinique (INSEE, 2020). Professional fishing (thanks to professional vessels) is destined for fish shops. However, for the majority of fishermen, fishing remains a supplement to their income and is not their main activity. Most of the products are sold in short circuits, directly to consumers (e.g., the towns of Sainte-Luce and Prêcheur). It is often an artisanal fishery (skiffs, traps, seines) that is highly dependent on fish resources. Moreover, different regulations allow to limit the pressure and the degradation of natural environments. 

    2700 farms are present on the territory (INSEE-DAAF/Sisep). Most of them are located in the northern part of Martinique. Banana export production mobilized 359 planters in 2018 (CIRAD-DAAF/SAF), sugarcane production mobilized 168 in 2018 (AGRESTE/Annual Agricultural Statistics). 

    Martinique is one of the tourist destinations in the French West Indies. In 2017 and 2018, a record was reached with more than one million visitors (Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme, 2018 and 2019). And this is thanks to the increase in cruise tourism (MSC Cruises).


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    Last updated: June 2022