The Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the most important marine sanctuaries along the east African coastline, representing a range of critical habitats for many rare and endemic species. Comprised of five islands and 143,000 hectares of marinescape, Bazaruto’s mix of coastal dunes, rocky and sandy shores, mangrove forests, coral reefs and seagrass meadows are inhabited by productive communities of terrestrial and marine life.
These habitats provide refuge for over 180 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, 16 species of terrestrial mammals, 500 species of marine and coastal mollusks, and 2,000 species of fish, making it a globally significant coastal and marine protected area.
In particular, the park is a sanctuary for important marine megafauna, including dolphins, sharks, whales, whale sharks, manta rays and leatherback turtles. Bazaruto is also home to the last viable population of dugongs in the Western Indian Ocean. The dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal, and is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae, after its closest modern relative, Steller’s sea cow, was hunted to extinction in the 18th century.
Under the management of African Parks, regular conservation monitoring measures are being implemented to survey and better protect key species and their habitats.
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