PK-32 Ranobe. Hotspot of biodiversity
The forest called «PK-32» is near Ifaty-Mangily. The southern stretch of Mikea forest, known as P(oint ) K(ilometer)-32 Ranobe (the spring/oasis) is a new protected area that has long been recognized as a conservation priority. PK-32 Ranobe has considerably more vertebrate species than either of the Southwest’s National Parks – Mikea National Park and Tsimanampetsotsa – or the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve. This forest region is home to eight lemur species, four of which are vulnerable and threatened by hunting – the highest diversity of lemurs of any forest in the Southwest region of Madagascar, and numerous other endemic, threatened or endangered plants and animals.
Harboring plant endemism at the highest level of any forest on the island - with 48% of the species and 95% of genera unique to a small section of the Southwest – it is one of the last of its kind. «It is a hotspot of biodiversity. WWF is currently applying for include within the decree of definitive protection» Malika Virah-Sawmy, WWF’s Terrestrial Programme Coordinator in Madagascar said.
The first comprehensive bird survey of PK-32 Ranobe revealed the presence of 124 bird species, including 56 Malagasy endemics and 8 species endemic to the southern ecoregion. Literature reviews reveal records of a further six species, giving PK32-Ranobe the most diverse avifauna of any site in the south-west of Madagascar. It is best known to birdwatchers who come to see local endemics such as the subdesert mesite (Monias benschi), the long-tailed ground-roller (Uratelornis chimaera), and the running coua (Coua cursor).
In 2010, Gardner rediscovered a species of Mirza (giant mouse lemur) in Ranobe. It is also one of the best places to see the gray-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus).
What lemur species are at risk in this region? According to The lemur diversity of the Fiherenana-Manombo Complex, southwest Madagascar in the journal Madagascar Conservation and Development, the following lemurs have been observed in this region, and are at risk: Dwarf lemur, Grey mouse lemur, Reddish-grey mouse lemur, Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur, Verraux’s sifaka, Red-fronted brown lemur, Ring-tailed lemur, Sportive lemur.
High-end hotels cater to more demanding tourists, while middle-end hotels are suitable for those traveling on a more modest budget. Night walks in the forest can arranged in the Ifaty-Mangily region along the coast.
Watch more photos about PK-32 Ranobe here.