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Baly Bay National Park is divided into four parcels with 10 core zones. The core zones cover 47,966 ha, with the remainder of the park being a buffer zone. Six of the core zones are located in the western part of the site. The three largest are Beheta (19,769 ha) and Cape Sada (1,192 ha) in the east, and a large part of the Amparafaka peninsula in the west. The terrain is gently undulating, with low hills and cliffs rising to c.80 m. There are many seasonal streams, two main permanent rivers, the Andranomavo and Kapiloza, and several permanent lakes, of which Lake Sariaka (c.300 ha) is the largest. The southern part of Baly Bay consists of mangrove, dominated by Avicennia and Rhizophora. The main lake vegetation is water-lilies Nymphaea and other floating plants. In flooded valleys and nearby a significant number of Raphia palms are present. Dry deciduous forest, dominated by Dalbergia, Commiphora and Erythrophleum couminga (a very restricted-range tree species), is found mainly in the Tsiombikibo and Ambinda region, with remaining areas covered mainly in secondary vegetation of savanna with Bismarckia palms, or Hyphaene palms in humid valleys, or, on the hills, a rather characteristic formation composed of clumps of bamboo, mainly Perrierbambos madagascariensis. The tortoise Geochelone yniphora lives in these clumps, mainly at Cape Sada and Antsokotsoko, with a small surviving population in Beheta and Betainalika.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 118 species are known from the area, of which 35 are endemic to Madagascar. Lake Sariaka holds a few pairs of Haliaeetus vociferoides and a colony of breeding waterbirds that includes Platalea alba, Mycteria ibis, Ardea cinerea, Ardea humbloti and Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri. The mudflats, lagoons, bay and west coast of the Ampasindava peninsula hold species such as Haliaeetus vociferoides, Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri and Charadrius thoracicus. During the summer, there is a gathering of 10,000 terns near Cape Amparafaka, mainly composed of Sterna bengalensis and Sterna hirundo.
Non-bird biodiversity: Lemurs: Microcebus ?myoxinus (VU), Hapalemur griseus occidentalis (VU), Propithecus verreauxi deckeni (VU), Daubentonia madagascariensis (EN). Carnivores: Cryptoprocta ferox (VU), Eupleres goudotii (EN). Cetacean: Sousa chinensis (DD). Sirenian: Dugong dugon (VU). Reptiles: Chelonia mydas (EN), Lepidochelys olivacea (EN), Geochelone yniphora (EN; the world population is confined to the national park).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Baly Bay National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/12/2021.