A new BirdLife initiative to expand birding tourism in the little-known Mahavavy-Kinkony region of western Madagascar is expected to hugely benefit both wildlife and local people.
The habitat of the region is packed with extraordinary and rare wildlife, and takes its name from a combination of Lake Kinkony, Madagascar’s second biggest lake, and the River Mahavavy, which flows through to reach the sea via a large delta. It covers such a range of habitats, from mudflats, mangroves and forests to freshwater lakes, marshes and grasslands, that the site is classed as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site), and a vital Protected Area (created in 2015 thanks to the efforts of Asity Madagascar), said BirdLife.
Mahavavy-Kinkony is a place like no other, said BirdLife: the vast complex of habitats harbour unique wildlife, while its towns, villages and landscapes also make it a vibrant cultural hub for the people of western Madagascar. So far, only the more intrepid ecotourists have visited the site, but this looks set to change. Asity Madagascar (BirdLife Partner) has brought together local and national organisations to vastly expand birding tourism at Mahavavy-Kinkony, an action that expected to benefit local communities and wildlife alike.