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Mayotte > Guide > Discover Mayotte > Fauna and Flora

Fauna and Flora at Mayotte Island


Piece of land located between Africa and Madagascar, Mayotte is enriched by organic inputs from both sides. Still preserved for economic development too - for how long? - This island is truly a destination "nature." On land and in the lagoon, there is abundant wildlife and rich original.


Mayotte has a limited number of terrestrial mammals. The highlights are undoubtedly the dogfish, Pteropus comorensis seychellensis, endemic to the Comoros and the lemur, Eulemur fulvus mayottensis, endemic to Mayotte and commonly called "maki" ..

Landbirds are 35 resident species of which 2 are endemic, the Souimanga of Mayotte (Nectarinia Coquerel) and Mayotte Drongo (Dicrurus waldenii) and 2 species and many endemic species in the Comoros archipelago, which reinforce the heritage of the avifauna Mahoran.
The Royal Museum for Central Africa (MRAC), which has published numerous scientific articles and books on the avifauna of the archipelago, is currently involved with space to develop an atlas of forest birds of Mayotte .

Reptiles of Mayotte are 4 species of snakes, 13 species of lizards including a chameleon endemic to the island (Furcifer polleni), 3 species of which scinques a sub species endemic (Cryptoblepharus boutonii mayottensis) and 9 species of nocturnal geckos and including 4 5 day. Among them there are 3 endemic species: Phelsuma shepherd, Phelsuma Phelsuma nigristriata and robertmertensi.

Mayotte amphibians are represented by 2 species of small tree size (5 cm): a tree frog (Boophis tephraeomystax) and a frog (Mantidactylus granulatus).

Among invertebrates, butterflies and spiders are the groups that have been most studied in Mayotte, particularly by scientists of the RMCA.

Among the many species of spiders present in the most curious Mayotte is probably the mygale (Idioctis intertidal) found in the mud flats of badamiers in the Little Earth. It resists the tides that submerge the mudflat by closing the cavity it occupies in the rocks with a tight valve.

Among the 93 species of butterflies flying days in the archipelago of the Comoros, 46 species are present in Mayotte with 6 endemic. This is Henotesia mayottensis, Neptis mayottensis, Charaxes saperanus, Azanus sitalces Mayotte, Eagris sabadius isabella Tagiades insularis and Mayotte.

No land animal Mayotte dangerous: the only ones that pose a danger are zebus and goats cavort on roadsides and on its cross can! Still take care when Scolopendra species of millipedes very painful stings, and of course the mosquitoes capable of transmitting malaria, chikungunya or crazy (in early 2008 that risk is low).
Marine Fauna

Thousand square kilometers of ocean protected by a barrier reef of over 150 km with depths of up to 70 meters are a sanctuary for many cetaceans. Two species are distinguished: the mégaptères or humpback whales and dolphins.
The other inhabitants of the lagoon, visible a few meters from the shore or directly on the beach when she just lay the sea turtle.
Humpback whales

Humpback whales are the largest whales. But they are among the more spectacular because they are the only ones to make prodigious jumps out completely out of the water. The lagoon serves as a nursery and after farrowing females come to the shelter of the reef to feed their small and educate in order to prepare for the great migration Antarctic during the austral summer. That is why we can not see these as mégaptères July to October.

Players, playful dolphins have the advantage of being present all year in the lagoon of Mayotte. One can even observe the coast including the Pointe Koungou.

A dozen species of dolphin living here. The most numerous and most often encountered: humpback dolphins, the bottlenose dolphin, the long-beaked dolphin, spotted dolphin, the latter two operating rather outside the lagoon.
There is also the heir apparent Fraser, pseudorque the tropical whales, the Risso dolphin, dolphins of the open sea.

Two organizations are studying these cetaceans: the Marine Mammal Center of Mayotte, which is coordinated by the DAF (Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry) and the Center for Research on Coastal Ecosystems man from the University of La Rochelle funded in part by the General Council of Mayotte.
Marine turtles

Of the eight species of marine turtle in the world, 5 are present in the southwest Indian Ocean. Two species inhabit the waters of the lagoon of Mayotte:

    * The green turtle (Chelonia mydas): denticulés beaks and round, 2 prefrontal scales (between the two eyes), 108 cm on average, 130 to 250 kg, herbivore
    * The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata): hooked beak and sharp, 4 prefrontal scales, 87 cm on average, 80 to 130 kg, not carnivore.

It is of course forbidden to touch. It must be very discreet when leaving the water and laying: no noise or light and even less flash. If you follow when they return to water after the spawn, go behind them.
A Mayotte all turtles are protected by an order of 7 August 2000

Despite the small size and easy exploration of the island and islets peripheral flora of Mayotte has been little studied until the end of the last century. It is in effect from 1995 as inventories botanical systematic organized by the Environment and Forest of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry has identified and described the last vestiges of natural vegetation of the island . This work has been done on the ground by Olivier Pascal from 1995 to 1997 with support from the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris, the Conservatoire Botanique Mascarin of the Reunion Island and the Botanical Institute in Montpellier.

These studies estimate the number of vascular species indigenous to 629 and the number of introduced species to about 350, nearly 1000 species in all.
The floristic diversity is characterized by a number of families and species high for an island of this size and a low endemism.

These figures show that while the flora of Mayotte is low in strict endemic species, the island enjoys a rich flora of great importance to its surface: there are as many families as phanerogams Mauritius, a island five times as large as Mayotte and generic diversity is more important than the Galapagos Islands or Hawaii. Mayotte has a number of species per km ² highest islands considered. Mayotte including a number of species substantially equivalent to that of Sao Tome, twice as large, located in the Gulf of Guinea about 350 km from the African coast, a distance equivalent to that between Mayotte Madagascar.

The species of Malagasy are three times more numerous than those of African origin. These characteristics and the geological history of Mayotte Olivier Pascald'avancer allow a hypothesis on the origin and the establishment of the flora on the island: a first wave of migration of Malagasy origin mainly in the late Tertiary, which old stock of species was considerably reduced during the recent explosive volcanism (-0.5 MA) followed by a recovery of the flora from elements malgaches, then a very recent African species (from -- 10 000 years), which persist mainly in the coastal component of dry vegetation of Mayotte.

What is found mainly in Mayotte:

    * Coconut
    * Coffee
    * The Mango
    * The baobab
    * Cheese or kapok tree
    * The badamier
    * The jackfruits
    * The ylang-ylang
    * The tree bread
    * The mat
    * The black wood
    * The lantana camara (Trash d'Or), pretty "plant pest" which pervades all slopes as soon as it starts to rain

Laurence de Susanne -