Le Karthala

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Le Karthala

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    13,000 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    11°46'S 43°21'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Le Karthala. 12/11/06; Ngazidja; 13,000 ha; 11°46'S 043°21'E. Located in the southern part of Grande Comore (Ngazidja), Mount Karthala is a well-known active volcano with its 3km-wide caldera. Its western and southern slopes are covered by a dense, humid forest which harbours several endemic species and contributes to global biodiversity conservation. On the other slopes, different vegetation types occur according to exposure and altitude: evergreen moist forest, dry forest, montane bushland and thicket (characterized by Philippia heaths), and highland grasslands. The site harbours the entire bird community of the island, with five endemic endangered species including the Comoro White-eye Zosterops mouroniensis, the Comoro Scops-Owl Otus pauliani, the Grand Comoro Flycatcher Humblotia flavirostris, the Comoro Drongo Dicrurus fuscipennis and the Mayotte Drongo Dicrurus waldenii. Two threatened butterfly species are also present. Certain species are used for medicinal purposes and some areas are considered sacred sites. The forests also play an essential role in preventing erosion; with increased land conversion for agricultural purposes, the risk of land degradation and sedimentation in the coastal areas greatly increases. Introduced species and deforestation for firewood and construction materials also threaten the site. There are plans to create a national park, which can further increase the tourism potential of the area. Ramsar site no. 1649. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Administrative region: 
Grande Comore (Ngazidja)

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