IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2001)
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Area: 178,800 ha
This site includes the Hatokaliotse and Linta Forests, located 140 km south of Toliara and 77 km west of Ejeda. A plateau of eroded karst, it is delimited to the west by a north–south-running escarpment, with cliffs and steep slopes. There are no permanent rivers, but freshwater sources occur in the swallow-holes that are scattered across the plateau. Linta Forest comprises two forest blocks, Antsihanaka and Sambatio. The vegetation is composed of xerophilous bushland (2–5 m high, with emergents up to 10 m high), dominated by Didierea, Alluaudia and Euphorbia, with a very dense understorey, often difficult to access. Cedrelopsis trees are found mainly in the forest along the bottom of the cliff, and there are also plantations of non-native prickly-pear cactus Opuntia. The eastern and north-eastern areas of the Antsihanaka Forest are less rich in Didiereaceae and the canopy is no higher than 2 m.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Fifty-eight species are known from this complex, of which 31 are endemic to Madagascar. The site is the southern limit known for the distribution of Calicalicus rufocarpalis, a species described in 1997.
Non-bird biodiversity: Lemur: Lemur catta (VU). Reptiles: Geochelone radiata (VU), Pyxis arachnoides (VU).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mahafaly Plateau Forest complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/03/2023.