|Central coordinates||49o 6.00' East 12o 55.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||50 - 409m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This reserve is located 70 km south of Antsiranana and 20 km north of Ambilobe. It is delimited by a cliff in the west, by the Mananjeba river in the south and, in the east, by the Route Nationale 6 between Antsiranana and Ambilobe. Ankarana is a massif of Jurassic limestone overlying a basaltic plain. The massif is highly eroded and karstic (‘tsingy’), and is divided by deep, northward-running canyons, penetrated by caves. Several underground rivers, the most important of which are the Ankarana, Mananjeba and Besaboba, flow through these caves in an east–west direction (into Ambavanankarana Bay), creating a very complex drainage system. During the dry season, the massif is an important hydrological reservoir for neighbouring people and their domestic animals. There is a large variety of microhabitats. Flat limestone areas are covered by dense, dry deciduous forest, dominated by Leguminosae and Burseraceae. The basalt floor of the canyons, where little water can infiltrate, allows the presence of dense, humid evergreen forest, similar in structure to such forest in eastern Madagascar, and dominated by Dalbergia, Canarium, Ficus, Zanthoxylum, palms and Pandanaceae. Degraded areas contain bamboo Olyra. Xerophytes such as Adenia, Aloe, Pachypodium and Noronhia cover the tsingy. The surroundings of the massif are covered by typical western savanna with Bismarckia palms.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Ninety-four species are known from the site, of which 34 are endemic to Madagascar. The site is important for both forest birds and waterbirds. Forest birds occur in the ‘Foresters Canyon’ and the ‘Grand Canyon’ in the western part of the reserve, as well as in Analamay in the eastern part. Such birds are usually absent from the Tsingy May forest, an area of low vegetation on the most exposed rocks. The site is one of the six known for Mesitornis variegata, and holds (with nearby Andavakoera) the only populations of Caprimulgus enarratus known in the West Malagasy biome.
Non-bird biodiversity: Lemurs: Phaner furcifer ?electromontis (VU), Eulemur coronatus (VU), E. fulvus sanfordi (VU), Hapalemur griseus ?occidentalis (VU), Lepilemur septentrionalis (VU), Propithecus diadema perrieri (CR), Daubentonia madagascariensis (EN). Carnivore: Cryptoprocta ferox (VU).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Madagascar Crested Ibis Lophotibis cristata||resident||1986||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae||breeding||1986||present||-||A1||Endangered|
|Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti||resident||1986||present||-||A1, A3||Endangered|
|Madagascar Fish-eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides||resident||1986||present||-||A1, A3||Critically Endangered|
|Madagascar Sparrowhawk Accipiter madagascariensis||resident||1986||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|White-breasted Mesite Mesitornis variegatus||resident||1986||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Coquerel's Coua Coua coquereli||resident||1986||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Van Dam's Vanga Xenopirostris damii||resident||1986||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata||resident||1986||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sakalava Weaver Ploceus sakalava||resident||1986||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Ankarana||Special Reserve||25,308||protected area contains site||18,225|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||3%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Firewood collection.|
References Decary and Kiener (1970), Fowler et al. (1989), Green et al. (1991), Hawkins et al. (1990), Jenkins (1987), Meyers and Ratsirarson (1988), Nicoll and Langrand (1989), Paulian (1961), Rand (1936), Remillet (1973), Simons et al. (1990), Walters et al. (1986), Wilson (1985), Wilson et al. (1987).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ankarana Special Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/03/2015
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