The four Comoros Islands are distinctive in size, shape, and topography, and contain a variety of habitat types. The two larger islands, Grande Comoro and Anjouan have significant topographic relief and support lowland and montane rainforests. Mangrove habitats are present along the coasts and areas of sparse herbaceous vegetation exist on Grande Comore where lava flows have left little soil hence putting the vegetation of Comoros on a real threat.
Fauna and Flora of Comoros
The flora and fauna have biogeographically affinities to Madagascar and to a lesser degree to the African continent. Like many Indo-Pacific islands, the Comoros host a diverse array of endemic species, including more than 500 species of plants, 21 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles, and two species of fruit bats. However, forest cover is rapidly declining and less than 30 percent of the original area is left today; many of the endemic species are severely threatened from habitat loss and invasive species, and others have already gone extinct. Frequent cyclones and volcanic activity pose further risks to the surviving species. Conservation of the remaining forested areas, particularly on Mount Karthala on Grande Comore, Mount Ntringui on Anjouan, and Mount Koukoule on Mohéli, is a priority for the conservation of endemic species.
A freshwater source in the Comoros Archipelago
Le Mont Ntringui located on Anjouan, Comoros’ second biggest island, comprises Mt. Ntringui, the island’s highest point, and the Crater Lake Dzialandzé, which is the largest freshwater body on the island. The site provides a habitat for the endemic, critically endangered Livingstone’s Flying Fox, one of the world’s largest fruit bats; the Mongoose Lemur Eulemur mongoz, also vulnerable; and endemic bird and plant species, which depend on each other for their reproduction, dispersal, and survival. Permanent rivers along the slopes of Mt. Ntringui are providential for water supply, irrigation, and as a source of water for livestock. The site is also important in its provision of building materials, medicines, fuelwood, honey, for spiritual reasons, and as a tourist attraction.