The site, a massif of volcanic origin, lies c.20 km south-west of Antsiranana. It comprises a 30-km-long string of basalt peaks, oriented north–south, with steep-sided valleys. Many rivers rise on the massif, the main ones being the Sahinana, Saharenana and Andranomandevy. There are also a number of lakes: Petit Lac, Grand Lac, Lac Maudit and Lac Texier. The north-eastern part of the site is covered by extensive low- and mid-altitude, dense, humid evergreen forests, dominated by trees of Chrysophyllum, Canarium, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae and Leguminosae, while the western part is covered in dense, dry deciduous forest. In between these two areas, there are transition forests.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Eighty-three species are known from the site, of which 41 are endemic to Madagascar. The level of local avian endemism is significant: Phyllastrephus zosterops fulvescens and Monticola (sharpei) erythronotus are restricted to the site (the latter being considered a separate species by some authorities). Tyto soumagnei, a species known from very few other sites, has also been recorded in the park. A pair of Haliaeetus vociferoides used to nest in the park, but no longer does so.
In addition to its interest as a tourist site, the park is also important because it is the only hydrological reservoir for the entire far north of the country. Uncontrolled bush-fires are worsening soil erosion. Other threats include forest exploitation (in the southern part) and clearance (in the eastern part).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Montagne d'Ambre National Park and Special Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/03/2023.