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Location Madagascar, Mahajanga
Central coordinates 45o 13.75' East  16o 5.05' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 65,297 ha
Altitude 0 - 100m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Asity Madagascar (Affiliate)

Site description Baly Bay National Park is divided into four parcels with 10 core zones. The core zones cover 47,966 ha, with the remainder of the park being a buffer zone. Six of the core zones are located in the western part of the site. The three largest are Beheta (19,769 ha) and Cape Sada (1,192 ha) in the east, and a large part of the Amparafaka peninsula in the west. The terrain is gently undulating, with low hills and cliffs rising to c.80 m. There are many seasonal streams, two main permanent rivers, the Andranomavo and Kapiloza, and several permanent lakes, of which Lake Sariaka (c.300 ha) is the largest. The southern part of Baly Bay consists of mangrove, dominated by Avicennia and Rhizophora. The main lake vegetation is water-lilies Nymphaea and other floating plants. In flooded valleys and nearby a significant number of Raphia palms are present. Dry deciduous forest, dominated by Dalbergia, Commiphora and Erythrophleum couminga (a very restricted-range tree species), is found mainly in the Tsiombikibo and Ambinda region, with remaining areas covered mainly in secondary vegetation of savanna with Bismarckia palms, or Hyphaene palms in humid valleys, or, on the hills, a rather characteristic formation composed of clumps of bamboo, mainly Perrierbambos madagascariensis. The tortoise Geochelone yniphora lives in these clumps, mainly at Cape Sada and Antsokotsoko, with a small surviving population in Beheta and Betainalika.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 118 species are known from the area, of which 35 are endemic to Madagascar. Lake Sariaka holds a few pairs of Haliaeetus vociferoides and a colony of breeding waterbirds that includes Platalea alba, Mycteria ibis, Ardea cinerea, Ardea humbloti and Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri. The mudflats, lagoons, bay and west coast of the Ampasindava peninsula hold species such as Haliaeetus vociferoides, Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri and Charadrius thoracicus. During the summer, there is a gathering of 10,000 terns near Cape Amparafaka, mainly composed of Sterna bengalensis and Sterna hirundo.

Non-bird biodiversity: Lemurs: Microcebus ?myoxinus (VU), Hapalemur griseus occidentalis (VU), Propithecus verreauxi deckeni (VU), Daubentonia madagascariensis (EN). Carnivores: Cryptoprocta ferox (VU), Eupleres goudotii (EN). Cetacean: Sousa chinensis (DD). Sirenian: Dugong dugon (VU). Reptiles: Chelonia mydas (EN), Lepidochelys olivacea (EN), Geochelone yniphora (EN; the world population is confined to the national park).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Madagascar Teal Anas bernieri resident  1997  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Madagascar Grebe Tachybaptus pelzelnii resident  1997  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Madagascar Crested Ibis Lophotibis cristata resident  1997  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae breeding  1997  present  A1  Endangered 
Madagascar Heron Ardea humbloti resident  1997  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Madagascar Fish-eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides resident  1997  2-3 breeding pairs  A1, A2, A3  Critically Endangered 
Black-banded Plover Charadrius thoracicus resident  1997  19 individuals  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Madagascar Jacana Actophilornis albinucha resident  1997  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis non-breeding  1997  5,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Coua ruficeps resident  1997  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Giant Coua Coua gigas resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Coquerel's Coua Coua coquereli resident  1997  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Sickle-billed Vanga Falculea palliata resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sakalava Weaver Ploceus sakalava resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Baie de Baly National Park 65,306 protected area contained by site 65,315  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   5%
Shrubland   19%
Grassland   9%
Forest   65%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
forestry -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
other -
Notes: Taking of waterbird eggs.

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

References Curl et al. (1985), Decary (1932), Durbin et al. (1996), Hawkins (1994), Hawkins (1994a, b, c, 1995b, c, 1996), Hawkins and de Valois (1993), Hawkins et al. (1995), Langrand (1987), Nicoll and Langrand (1989), Rabarisoa et al. (1995), Rand (1936), Reid (1992), Reid et al. (1995), Watson et al. (1993).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Baly Bay National Park. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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