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Beza

Bezaha Mahafaly special reserve is located 35 km northeast of Betioky. It includes a 100 ha gallery forest just west of the Sakamena river, which is completely dry during the dry season. With the heavy January-to-March rains, the river often floods the surrounding plain. The forest is dominated by large tamarind trees and other endemic leguminous species. A larger area is colonized by species characteristic of the spiny thicket, including Alluaudia procera (Didiereaceae) along with several members of the Euphorbiaceae and large specimens of Pachypodium geayi and P. rutenbergianum. The fauna includes four species of lemur, two diurnal (sifaka and ring-tailed) and two nocturnal (Lepilemur leucopus and Microcebus murinus). In addition, the forest hosts four species of tenrecs, including the rare large-eared Echinops telfairi, three species of carnivores (including the fosa), the radiated tortoise, chameleons, geckoes, iguanid lizards, snakes and, seasonally, the crocodile. Noteworthy among the birds are the sickle billed vanga and the hoopoe.


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