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Betampona Strict Nature Reserve *

This small reserve, located 60 km northeast of Toamasina (= Tamatave), protects a region of low-altitude rain forest that is rich in biodiversity. It is home to at least nine lemur species, one of which, Simmons’ mouse lemur (Microcebus simmonsi), is best seen here. Others definitely known to occur are the greater dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus major), the weasel sportive lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus), the variegated black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata), the diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema), indri (Indri indri), and the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis). There is also an introduced population of white-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur albifrons), and there are reports of greater dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus major) and gray bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus griseus) as well. Unfortunately there are no accommodations nearby, and reaching this reserve by vehicle may be difficult since bridges are frequently washed away by tropical storms. In addition, only researchers with a permit are allowed to enter the reserve, so this must be requested from Madagascar National Parks.