Madagascar Coral Reefs – Exploring Some of the Most Diverse Corals in the World
The Madagascar coral reefs are a part of a rich and diverse ecosystem that features some of the most stunning and vibrant species of marine creatures, with live coral covering most of the reef formations and a wide variety of fish and other marine creatures found thriving here.
The island also features one of the largest reef formations in the world, known as the Tulear reef, which is one of five significant, continuous reef formations unique on Earth.
The Richness and Diversity of Madagascar Coral Reefs
The reefs in the area are generally healthy, with about 55% of all the reef formations in the region being covered by vibrant, live corals. This figure has actually increased in the past few years, when only 30% of the reefs were continually growing.
Abyssal slopes, colorful lagoons and a variety of marine habitats protected by large barrier and fringing reefs can constantly be found here. Over 6,000 recorded species of marine creatures – including reefs, fish and sea mammals – thrive in the waters around Madagascar, and the region also attracts rare sea turtles from the western regions of the Indian Ocean.
Even when it comes to its smallest islands, such as Nosy Be, on the northwest coast, Madagascar’s reef communities are home to thousands of corals and reef fish. They are also among the few places where you can spot the fabled coelacanth, a prehistoric species of fish that, until a few decades ago, was thought to be extinct.
Tulear – also known as Toliaria – is Madagascar’s largest reef system located near the southeastern shore of the island, and known to be the third largest continuous reef system in the world, stretching across more than 300 km.
The reef formation houses no less than 300 different coral species and 400 species of fish. Whales, dolphins and sharks can also be spotted near the reef quite often, and aside from marine turtles grazing on the reefs, you can also see the famous blue spotted bamboo shark – endemic to Madagascar – during your diving trips here.
Symbolic of Madagascar coral reefs and their remarkable biodiversity, the Tulear system is one of many beautiful and thriving coral reef formations in the region that divers, tourists, explorers and scientists from around the world flock to see.