This site consists of Lake Kinkony (to the south of Mitsinjo town), the Mahavavy delta in the north, Marambitsy Bay in the west, and the Tsiombikibo Forest in the centre. The lake is 1–4 m deep and links to other satellite lakes during the rainy season, having a minimum area of 10,000 ha. The delta, limited by Cape Tanjona in the east and by Kingany village in the west, has an area of 33,700 ha, which includes c.16,000 ha of mangrove, c.5,200 ha of mudflats and c.12,500 ha of sea. The bay includes c.7,500 ha of mangrove islets, mudflats and marshes. The mangroves are dominated by Avicennia and Rhizophora. Near the sea they are well developed (8–10 m high), but further to the west and the east they are less dense and lower (5–6 m high). The permanent, but irregular, Mahavavy river feeds the lake and the delta. Smaller rivers, and streams from the Tsiombikibo Forest, flow into Marambitsy Bay. The lake vegetation includes vast reedbeds of Phragmites in the eastern part, and beds of Cyperus in adjacent areas. Tsiombikibo is a dense, dry deciduous forest, dominated by Dalbergia, Erythrophleum couminga and Commiphora. Other terrestrial areas are covered by dense grassland.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 97 species have been recorded at the site, of which 26 are endemic to Madagascar. Anas bernieri, Haliaeetus vociferoides and Amaurornis olivieri have been seen at Lake Kinkony in the past, and c.10 Anas bernieri were seen recently on mudflats in the delta. However, these species are now no longer thought to occur in the lake. A large number of Threskiornis (aethiopicus) bernieri, probably a highly threatened species, is present on the delta, as is a large group of Phoenicopterus ruber.
Non-bird biodiversity: Lemurs: Eulemur mongoz (VU), Hapalemur griseus occidentalis (VU), Propithecus verreauxi deckeni (VU), P. verreauxi coronatus (CR). Reptile: Erymnochelys madagascariensis (EN). Fish: Paretroplus kieneri (VU), P. petiti (CR).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
It is likely that three key wetland bird species, Anas bernieri, Haliaeetus vociferoides and Amaurornis olivieri, are no longer present in Lake Kinkony, having been eliminated by a combination of excessive sedimentation, hunting and destruction of wetland habitat. Fishing has become increasingly commercial in the lake and this requires rational management to ensure the sustainability of fish-stocks. The conversion of mangrove and marshes to rice-fields, the hunting of birds on the mudflats and the exploitation of mangrove for firewood (to dry fish, etc.) also constitute threats.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mahavavy - Kinkony wetlands NPA. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 01/04/2023.