Torotorofotsy is the largest and most intact natural marsh in eastern Madagascar. It is located c.7 km north-west of Andasibe, being delimited in the west by the Angavo river and in the east by the Betsimisaraka escarpment. The marsh lies in a basin, elongated along a north-east–south-west axis, and has an indented boundary. It is surrounded by convex hills, with three isolated hillocks in its centre. The Sahaparasy river flows across the marsh. Seventy percent of the site’s area is covered by marshy grassland, with permanently waterlogged and peaty soils in the basin, dominated by spike-rushes Eleocharis (80 cm to 1 m high), ferns Osmunda, sedges Cyperus and lianoid sedges Scleria (2–3 m high). At the basin overflow and along the western edge there is marshy forest, with abundant screw-pines Pandanus, palms Vonitra and Voacanga trees, while the whole marsh is surrounded by degraded humid evergreen forest (dominated by secondary species such as Harungana and Dichaetanthera) and wooded savanna. The marsh has poor fish-stocks (the water being relatively acid and nutrient-poor), and fishing is not a significant activity.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Sixty-nine species are known from the site, of which 33 are endemic to Madagascar. Torotorofotsy is one of the two sites currently known for Sarothrura watersi, and Anas melleri probably breeds at the site.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Threats to the site and its neighbourhood include exploitation for firewood, slash-and-burn cultivation, and collection of leaves from marsh plants for basketwork. In the past, marsh areas were converted to rice-fields.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Torotorofotsy Wetlands. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2019.