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.

Two new bird observatories

L’observatoire aux oiseaux de la mare de la baie Lucas The bird observatory on Baie Lucas pond
L’observatoire aux oiseaux de la mare de la baie Lucas The bird observatory on Baie Lucas pond

Following the Etang de la Barrière, that rates highly on the Caribbean scale of bird watching

The Baie Lucas pond and the salt pond at the cemetery in Grand-Case, have also been equipped with bird observatories, much to the delight of visitors, who now have three observatories on the island. The aim is to improve awareness of the natural heritage of these wetlands, and also to promote local development of bird watching, which, thanks to the 14 protected salt ponds, has real potential for ecotourism.

 

A bird observatory in Oyster Pond...

Two minutes away from the whale observatory in Coralita and not far from the Babit Point site, Oyster Pond is strengthening its ecotourism vocation with a new bird observatory, put up by the Nature Reserve and the Conservatoire du Littoral and in partnership with the EEASM (read the previous article). Built on the edge of the Baie Lucas pond, the lookout is accessible by way of a small wooden path, and allows visitors to discover the wader bird in their natural environment, but that’s not all… If you are a little bit patient, you’ll witness the amazing fishing skills of the kingfishers that frequent this site. Information signs are going to be put up soon telling us all about the bird species present, and also facts about the botany, landscape and geology of the site, where mangroves grow adjacent to cacti that grow in the middle of large rounded rock masses.

… and Grand-Case

Every year from March to May, the salt pond beside the cemetery in Grand-Case transforms into a heronry. Great egrets, snowy egrets and cattle egrets nest by the dozens in the thicket of the red mangrove that becomes a nursery. These large birds, with their chicks, dot the landscape with their white feathers, putting on an exceptional show that can now be peacefully admired from the wooden observatory that will very soon been equipped with information signs. The Nature Reserve and the Conservatoire du Littoral, under the agreement of working together on projects concerning them both, organized the development of this remarkable site. The next step will be to develop the area around the site.

All articles from: Newsletter-20

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