Saving the Rainforests of Atsinanana

Published: 2021-09-15 10:50:09
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Rainforests are a vital part of our existence on this planet. Much of the world's oxygen, rain, and fresh water are generated through such places. The rainforests in Madagascar are some of the most diverse habitats on Earth. In Madagascar, an island about the size of Texas, live 250,000 species (70% endemic) of flora and fauna. (UNESCO Lists rainforests of Madagascar as Heritage Sites, 2007) The large majority of these species are found nowhere else on the planet. To preserve the beauty and diversity of life on Earth, we must start with conserving these rainforests.
Madagascar's Atsinanana Rainforests comprise of six parks that are under strict protection now. These parks are: Parc National de Marojejy, Parc National de Masoala, Parc National de Zahamena, Parc National de Ranomafana, Parc National d'Andringitra, and Parc National d'Andohahela. (Rainforests of Atsinanana, 2011) These parks are all known for their high levels of biodiversity and endemism in flora and fauna; the protected land is extremely important for the survival of these species. (Rainforests of Atsinanana, 2011)
Marojejy National Park, founded in 1952, has been described as one of the loveliest and bio-diverse areas protected. (Marojejy, 2011) This park is located at the northeastern part of Madagascar. (Marojejy, 2011) It contains a mountainous landscape with a range of vegetation from a lowland rainforest type to a mountain thicket. Although the park was devastated by the illegal logging of the Rosewood in 2009, it has since reopened and has been able to maintain a magical beauty. (Marojejy, 2011) There are 60 species of frog, 47 mammals (12 of which are Lemur), and 116 of bird located in this area. (UNESCO Lists rainforests of Madagascar as Heritage Sites, 2007) (Marojejy, 2011) Along with this diversity of fauna is inevitably a large population of flora can be found. Marojejy has 275 species of fern and over 50 species of palm tree catalogued depending on the altitude of the forest. (Marojejy National Park, 2011) All kinds of moss, lichens, bamboo, and grasses are found in this extremely varied park as well. (Marojejy, 2011)
Parc National de Masoala is located nearby Marojejy in the Northeastern part of the island. This is the largest protected area in Madagascar stretching through 2,300 square kilometers of rainforests and 100 kilometers of marine parks. (Masoala National Park, 2011) Masoala was established in 1997 to protect this special ecosystem which comprises of coastal rainforests, flooded forests, marshes, and mangroves from the local communities and international logging companies who wish to take over the land and cut down the trees. (Masoala National Park, 2011) An estimation of the diversity in this area is that the park contains 50% of all biodiversity in Madagascar even though it only makes up 2% of its land mass. (UNESCO Lists rainforests of Madagascar as Heritage Sites, 2007) Lemurs are found all over the island, but 10 of those species are found here including the white-fronted brown lemur. (Lemurs of Madagascar, 2009) Many new species of chameleon, frog, gecko, butterfly, and fish have been found in this park. Birds such as serpent eagles and red owls once thought extinct live in this wonderful park. (Masoala National Park, 2008) Over 10,000 coral reefs, marine plants, and mangroves are contained in Masoala. Recorded thus far are 3,001 species of fish. (Masoala National Park, 2011) The amazing humpback whale also uses the shelter of Antongil Bay for breeding. (Masoala National Park, 2011)

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