Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

Last WWD animation

On February 29, 2020, GEPOMAY organized its last event on the Ambato lagoon in M’Tsangamouji as part of the World Wetlands Days.

Animation on the Ambato lagoon by GEPOMAY © Djabaouidine Abdou

Organized in partnership with the Jardin Association of M’Tsangamouji, the outing brought together more than 70 people, including many primary school children, divided into 3 groups.
The GEPOMAY led a group of around 30 people with 3 employees from the Jardin association, offering them a 2-hour walk in the lagoon. On the program: presentation of the site, its challenges and threats, presentation of the actions taking place there, but also of the different habitats, their roles and their biodiversity. Emphasis was placed on the Madagascar pond heron, which the participants observed in the wet meadows. Finally, the morning ended with a breakfast offered by the Garden association.

Ambato Lagoon

The Ambato lagoon is a wetland of approximately 4 hectares protected by a Prefectural Biotope Protection Order (APPB), which belongs to the Departmental Council and in part to the state. Mainly used as an educational site for school interventions or animations by associations such as GEPOMAY or Jardin de M’Tsangamouji, it is also the place of illegal cultivation and urbanization that threaten the flora and fauna of the site.
Indeed, the Ambato lagoon is home to many protected species of flora and fauna. Among the 32 species of birds listed, one can notably observe the Madagascar pond heron, which nests in the mangroves. The lagoon is thus one of the 5 breeding sites of the species in Mayotte!

WWD: the balance sheet

Each year, World Wetlands Day (WDD) is celebrated on February 2, to commemorate the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.
To celebrate this, the environmental structures in Mayotte mobilized throughout the month of February to celebrate the wetlands. Among them, the GEPOMAY association organized several major events. A total of 12 activities were carried out, whether in the classroom or in the field, to inform the general public, the private sector and students about wetlands and the white crab fish, thereby raising the awareness of more than 1,000 people in the area in one month.

The wetlands of Mayotte

A wetland is a transition space between land and water. It is covered with shallow water, either permanently or temporarily. It is a very diverse ecosystem that forms on the fringes of rivers, ponds, lakes, estuaries, deltas, bays and even springs.

The wetlands of Mayotte cover a total of 1615 hectares. However, many of them are threatened. In Mayotte, only one wetland is classified RAMSAR: the Badamiers mudflat, on Petite-Terre. This mudflat is partially covered with mangroves and presents seagrass beds and different species of algae and serves as a refuge as well as a place of reproduction, feeding and wintering for many species of birds, fish and turtles such as the green turtle. The site is of international importance for the migration of the Lesser Crested Tern as well as for the presence of several species such as the endangered Humblot’s Heron and the Tarantula Idioctis intertidalis which lives in the intertidal zone.