The MaMaBay land/seascape is Madagascar’s last great wilderness and the epicenter of the island’s unique biodiversity. Located in the northeastern region of Madagascar it comprises the Masoala National Park --a World Heritage Site, the Makira Natural Park, and the Antongil Bay. MaMaBay’s abundant and diverse flora and fauna is thriving in contiguous and effectively protected forests, mangroves, and coral reefs, buffered and connected by community areas that support sustainable forestry, agriculture, and fisheries.
The forests in the MaMaBay landscape shelter many threatened and rare species such as plants (Asteropeia sp, Intsia bijuga, Nepenthes masoalensis, Mimusops sp, Calophyllum laxiflorum), birds (Madagascar red owls, serpent eagles) and frogs (tomato frog). More than 22 lemur species –primates endemic to Madagascar, are found here, and an important population of Madagascar’s unique cat-like carnivore, the fosa. More than twenty rare species of palm are present in a very limited spatial distribution within the lowland rainforest. Three flagship species, Voanioala gerardii, Lemurophoenix halleuxii and Marojeya darianii have been selected as conservation targets for the MaMaBay Landscape Management. The ecological integrity of the forest block within the MaMaBay landscape is provided by eight forest corridors which include the three forest corridors of the Masoala National Park and five in the Makira Natural Park.
The Antongil Bay seascape thrives of fish, turtles, dolphins and critically endangered dugongs, and serves as one of the most important breeding, calving and nursery areas for Western Indian Ocean humpback whales. The species endemism and diversity of the watershed are amongst the highest in Madagascar, and the essential ecosystem services support over a quarter of a million subsistence farmers and fishers.
WCS and its partners are striving to realize an ambitious vision for the conservation of this last great wilderness. Given the multiple issues that prevail in the area, a holistic and multi-sectoral approach is required. To achieve the ultimate goal of conserving biodiversity and securing the livelihoods of the people in MaMaBay, WCS will continue to focus on the conservation of core protected areas and sustainable resource use within the surrounding habitats. WCS will ensure that: (i) Government and environmental institutions deliver biodiversity protection, improved livelihoods, and secure ecosystem services; (ii) local communities have the technical and governance capabilities to manage their terrestrial and marine resources; (iii) Government, partners, and residents of MaMaBay are effective stewards of the land/seascape; and (iv) the benefits of conservation are equitably shared amongst all stakeholders.