The site is dominated by the peak Mlima Bénara (660 m), the highest on Mayotte, and part of the mountain massif that dominates the south-centre of the island. Ridges extend 4 km west to Tchaourembo (581 m) and Ngouni Maboungani (510 m), and 4 km east to Trambatsini (297 m). The site includes this long ridge, its slopes and small, wooded catchments to the north, down to an altitude of about 200 m, which is the typical upper limit of cultivation. Villages are present on coasts on all sides; Dembéni, Bandrélé, Poroani, Sada and Ouangani are the largest, with catchments largely in this area. The ridge is sharp, and the upper slopes of Mlima Bénara rise steeply to a triangular peak. The area contains probably the second-largest expanse of forest on Mayotte, although it is somewhat fragmented near its lower limit and is crossed by several trails, and is also used for hunting.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site contains the full community of forest-living birds (around 14 species) of Mayotte. Most are common and are not restricted to forest, but need woody vegetation of some sort; only the two pigeons are restricted to forest. Additional species occur in the cultivated land and villages around the forested area.
Non-bird biodiversity: Reptiles: Phelsuma geckos P. robertmertensii, P. nigristriata and P. pasteuri. No other data specific to this site.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Bénara Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/08/2019.