The littoral forest of the Fort Dauphin region of south-east Madagascar is expected to lose numerous endemic plant and animal species in the near future as a result of deforestation and consequent habitat changes. The disruption of plant-animal interactions is of particular concern. This review describes the conservation status of the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, Fort Dauphin, and examines the role of animal-facilitated seed dispersal in regeneration. The main threats to this habitat are described and possible management implications are discussed in relation to existing initiatives. Protection of the largest remaining forest fragments has been agreed by local communities and a draft plan for forest management is currently under evaluation. Over the next few years plantations will be created to provide local people with wood for fuel and other purposes. An important flying fox Pteropus rufus roost site needs to be included in conservation plans because of its importance for long-distance seed dispersal. Despite the presence of natural barriers, the creation of forest corridors will be crucial for connecting isolated fragments and facilitating genetic exchange between subpopulations. Increased attention needs to be given to the need to promote conservation-related income activities.
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