Published on 22 May 2002
The island of Mayotte is part of the Comoro archipelago, located between the coasts of Africa and northern Madagascar. This French territory, comprising a main island, "Grande Terre", and surrounding islets, has a rich and poorly known flora. The main theme of this work concerns biological features relating to Mayotte’s insular environment, with special emphasis given to selected subjects treated in boxes placed throughout the text. Following an overview of the island’s natural habitats, a description is given of the vegetation and the native flora. Relatively undisturbed tropical forests cover only 5% of Mayotte’s 354 km2. The current location, physiognomy and floristic composition of the four main vegetation types (humid forests, dry forests, the littoral formation, and mangroves) are discussed. A hundred species are then presented according to vegetation type. Descriptions and illustrations are given for epiphytes, herbaceous and liana species, followed by trees and shrubs. This book, the first on the flora of Mayotte, is designed for amateur and professional naturalists, environmental managers, and teachers. Numerous original photographs help towards species identification. Whilst it is not a comprehensive inventory, this initial study aims to increase the awareness of the various actors in Mayotte and of the visitors to the island, concerning the richness of this important part of its natural heritage, and the risks of disappearance facing the last remaining rare vestiges of natural vegetation. The book underscores the urgent need to protect Mayotte’s natural areas and the species they contain.