|Central coordinates||46o 47.00' East 19o 4.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
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.
|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||Extent (% of site)|
References Battistini and Donque (1962), Payne (1960).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Itasy. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2015
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