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Location Madagascar, Antananarivo
Central coordinates 46o 47.00' East  19o 4.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 3,500 ha
Altitude 1,221 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Asity Madagascar (Affiliate)

Site description Lake Itasy is located 10 km south-east of Analavory and 25 km north-west of Soavinandriana. It is a freshwater crater-lake with marshy areas in its southern and eastern parts, lying within a steep-sloped volcanic massif. It is permanent, with seasonal variations in the water-level, having an average depth of 4 m but reaching up to 10 m at its centre. The Andranomena and Mariandrano rivers feed the lake in the east, while the Lily river flows out of the lake. The lake receives a lot of sediment from the rivers and from the eroded adjacent slopes. There is marginal vegetation of reedbeds Phragmites and clumps of Cyperus (up to 2 m), and floating mats of the non-native water-hyacinth Eichhornia. Submerged plants include Ceratophyllum and Potamogeton. Near the middle of the lake, there is dense vegetation of various very tall aquatic plants.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Forty-four species are known from the lake, of which 10 are endemic to Madagascar. The dense vegetation near the middle of the lake is a refuge for herons (Ardeidae) and rails (Rallidae). A locally resident population of Anas melleri is probably of national importance. Ardea humbloti is infrequently recorded.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Meller's Duck Anas melleri resident  1960  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Madagascar Grebe Tachybaptus pelzelnii resident  1960  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae breeding  1960  present  A1  Endangered 
Madagascar Marsh-harrier Circus macrosceles resident  1960  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Madagascar Flufftail Sarothrura insularis resident  1960  present  A3  Least Concern 
Madagascar Snipe Gallinago macrodactyla resident  1960  present  A2, A3  Vulnerable 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

References Battistini and Donque (1962), Payne (1960).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Itasy. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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