Andasibe National Park - Mantadia
The National Park Andasibe-Mantadia is a must for naturalists and, three hours by car from the Malagasy capital, offers all the features of the tropical rainforest at medium altitude (930 m-1050 m). A network of trails among the low hills makes it easy to visit this 12,810 hectare protected area, where the visitor, even a beginner, can enjoy the Indri, the largest of all lemurs, can be observed.
Majestic tree ferns line the paths of the park. The fronds of tree ferns are usually very large and very jagged, but at least one genus has entire fronds. Like the other ferns, the fronds appear like a stick that gradually coils and elongates.
Unlike trees, tree ferns do not form woody tissue in the trunk as the trunk grows. The trunk is simply supported by the fibrous mass of roots that grow along the trunk. Outside of protected areas, this plant species is exploited in an artisanal manner, often excessively, for the production of flower pots.
However, this ecosystem is threatened by bushfires and slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging, poaching, and the collection of protected plants. This situation can be explained in part by the demographic and social pressures experienced in one of the poorest countries in the world. It is estimated that in 2001, 5% of the area was affected by traditional agricultural activities.
The morning vocalizations of the indris give a mysterious character to this forest site. Often very harmonious, these modulated and powerful howls can be heard over 2 km away. They allow each of the 62 Indri families in the park (2 to 5 members each) to demarcate their territory.
As part of the order of primates, the Indri indri is unfortunately known as one of the most endangered lemurs. This lemur, classified as CR A3cd (Critically Endangered) by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is under the greatest pressure on its habitat, so the chances that this species will not become extinct are now limited to the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and some other rare Malagasy forests.
The species Indri Indri
Indri indri belongs to the order of primates and sub-branches of lemurs and is a rare species that differs from other species of lemurs endemic to Madagascar, especially by the absence of the tail, but also by their behavior.
In fact, besides the physical peculiarity of its stump of less than 3 cm, which acts as a tail, a distinctive feature that distinguishes it from its conspecifics, the Indri indri also possesses an independent morality, the main feature of which is manifested by dissonant songs, the purpose of which is to indicate its presence and territory.
The Indri is rare and differs from the other lemurs of the big island by its size, behavior and diet. It is a species that must be discovered at all costs, especially since it is one of the most endangered and its extinction may soon occur.
Calumma Parsoni Cristifer
True giants (50-60cm), chameleons of the Calumma parsoni group, feed on large insects and occasionally on small birds. In Andasibe, the Cristifer species can be observed in the high branches of the trees.
In both subspecies, the males are very often more colorful and brighter than the females. Calumma parsonii feeds on plants, leaves, insects and small birds, which it catches with its tongue and throws at its prey like a projectile. The prey can be up to twice the size of the animal.
The Calumma parsonii lives in trees, where it can easily use its strong camouflage ability to defend itself against predators. However, the females hide their eggs underground, which poses a great risk to the mother, the eggs and the future offspring.
In addition, it can live up to 12 years, especially in captivity.
This small (2-3 cm) diurnal frog feeds on ants and termites.
The male emits a series of short clicks.
For several years, the very small frogs, Mantella aurantiaca called, threatened with extinction on Malagasy territory.
This frog species is mainly a terrestrial forest and reaches ponds for reproduction. Between 50 and 200 eggs can be laid at each clutch, about 75% are fertile, fertilization is external. Reproduction takes place from October to February.
Adult frogs feed on small insects such as flies and springtails in their natural environment.
Nevertheless, it is an endemic species that is found in the Andasibe National Park, a hundred kilometers from the capital Antananarivo, has always been known.
The Green Lake and the Red Lake
On the edge of this crescent-shaped lake can be observed lemurs, birds and the order of the forest. This reserve is also characterized by the presence of two lakes, called red lake and green lake, respectively. Trails have been developed especially for observing the great biodiversity richness of this reserve, including a trail for the green class. Some circuits lead to viewpoints, one of which offers a panoramic view of the entire forest station of Analamazaotra.