- Biodiversity, Blue forests, Coastal environment, Conservation Inventory, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
Although the importance of regulating and provisioning services provided by mangroves is widely recognised, our understanding of their role in the maintenance of terrestrial biodiversity is patchy globally and largely lacking for many regions, including conservation priorities such as Madagascar. We carried out the first multi-site bird inventory of mangroves in Madagascar and complemented our data with assessments of local knowledge, in order to broaden our knowledge of which species use this habitat. We directly observed 73 species across three sites in Ambanja and Ambaro Bays, while local respondents indicated the presence of 18 additional species: four observed species are globally threatened, while 37 are endemic to Madagascar or the Malagasy region. Over half the species observed are typically terrestrial, of which 22 have not previously been recorded in mangrove habitats in Madagascar. Local knowledge provided a useful complement to our observed data but we are likely to have underestimated total richness; nevertheless, our findings greatly increased our knowledge of mangrove use by Madagascar’s birds. However, further research is required to investigate the functional role of mangroves in the ecology of the observed species and provide insights into the factors influencing mangrove use.