Conservation status of the littoral forest of south-eastern Madagascar: a review

An Bollen a1p1c1 and Giuseppe Donati a2
a1 Stationsstraat 27, B-3570 Alken, Belgium
a2 University of Pisa, Department of Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, Unit of Anthropology, Via S. Maria 55, 56126 Pisa, Italy

Article author query
bollen a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
donati g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The littoral forest of the Fort Dauphin region of south-east Madagascar is expected to lose numerous endemic plant and animal species in the near future as a result of deforestation and consequent habitat changes. The disruption of plant-animal interactions is of particular concern. This review describes the conservation status of the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, Fort Dauphin, and examines the role of animal-facilitated seed dispersal in regeneration. The main threats to this habitat are described and possible management implications are discussed in relation to existing initiatives. Protection of the largest remaining forest fragments has been agreed by local communities and a draft plan for forest management is currently under evaluation. Over the next few years plantations will be created to provide local people with wood for fuel and other purposes. An important flying fox Pteropus rufus roost site needs to be included in conservation plans because of its importance for long-distance seed dispersal. Despite the presence of natural barriers, the creation of forest corridors will be crucial for connecting isolated fragments and facilitating genetic exchange between subpopulations. Increased attention needs to be given to the need to promote conservation-related income activities.

(Published Online January 19 2006)
(Received March 24 2004)
(Revised October 19 2004)
(Accepted March 8 2005)
(First published online January 19 2006)

Key Words: Fort Dauphin; fragmentation; littoral forest; Madagascar; Pteropus rufus; Sainte Luce; seed dispersal.

c1 Correspondence: Stationsstraat 27, B-3570 Alken, Belgium. E-mail madana44@yahoo.com
p1 Also at: Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Koningin Astridplein 26, B-2018 Antwerp, Belgium