La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

- 700 New Species Identified

 In 1998, when the Réserve Naturelle was created, a total of 480 different species of flora and fauna were estimated to exist in the various zones on land and at sea.
But that was before april 2012, when a scientific mission listed more than 700 marine species!
This inventory of fauna was done with the support of seven university professors from United States, Brasil and France. The three classifications included in this study are crustaceans (shrimp, crabs...), mollusks (slugs, shellfish...), and echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish, ophiuroids...).
As part of this project, the scientific researchers did dives to take samples of the underwater milieu —sand, mud, rock, grasses, coral reefs— during the day as well as at night, in order not to miss nocturnal species.
They sometimes used an underwater vacuum or a brush to capture the smallest species (less than 1 centimeter).
The objective is to create a catalogue combining photos of all the species that were observed, both male and female.
These results confirm the importance of the natural marine resources in the Réserve.

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