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.

Improving knowledge about our natural heritage and function of ecosystems

Improving knowledge about our natural heritage and function of ecosystems

Improving knowledge about our natural heritage and function of ecosystems

Colette Buisson
Colette Buisson

Colette Buisson, an intern at the Réserve Naturelle from April 15 through August 30, is working on the deployment and study of the colonization of artificial marine habitats as part of the BioHab2 project. A student at the Institut Intechmer of Cherbourg (CNAM), she has spent the past three years studying as a technical engineer for the marine environment. To complete her project for the Réserve, she has retrieved all of the data relating to BioHab2, which is installed onsite at Tintamare, and she will participate in the placement of a second artificial habitat near Anse Marcel, within the perimeter of the Réserve Naturelle. A certified diver, she also participates in other scientific outings for the reserve —observing coral, plant beds, birds— and will submit her report at the end of her internship, and defend it at Intechmer in September. Her experience in Saint Martin allows her to acquire solid professional experience in various areas in the management of vegetal and animal populations.

Mérou de Nassau dans un habitat artificiel Nassau grouper in an artificial habitat
Mérou de Nassau dans un habitat artificiel Nassau grouper in an artificial habitat

À Rochefort, au siège de la Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux (LPO), du 19 au 23 novembre 2018, Julien Chalifour a participé au séminaire de lancement du LIFE BIODIV’OM, un projet européen visant à protéger cinq espèces mondialement menacées et un habitat prioritaire sur cinq territoires d’Outre-mer. Les cinq espèces menacées sont l’échenilleur de La Réunion - plus connu sous le nom de Tuit-tuit - le crabier blanc à Mayotte, le mérou géant en Guyane et à Saint-Martin, le mérou de Nassau à Saint-Martin et le moqueur gorge blanche en Martinique. La LPO coordonne l’ensemble du projet avec plusieurs contributeurs associés, dont la Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin, aux côtés du Parc naturel de la Martinique, de la Société d’études ornithologiques de La Réunion, du groupe d’études et de protection des oiseaux de Mayotte et enfin du groupe d’étude et de protection des oiseaux en Guyane. Les partenaires ont pu se mettre d’accord sur une méthodologie commune de travail et ont découvert les règles de gestion d’un programme LIFE, fixées par le financeur - la commission européenne - ainsi que le suivi des financements associés

Aude Berger et Julien chalifour en formation Training for Aude Berger and Julien Chalifour
Aude Berger et Julien chalifour en formation Training for Aude Berger and Julien Chalifour

In January 2019, the Réserve Naturelle hired Aude Berger, who holds a diploma in ocean sciences and techniques and a professional degree in environmental protection from UAG, as head of the LIFE BIODIV’OM project. Her mission is a concerted effort for the conservation of the Nassau grouper and the giant grouper. This means fishermen and others who use the sea, including divers and boat owners, as well as local authorities, will be consulted and have an opportunity to participate in the creation of a conservation program. A socio-economic study was launched and exploratory fishing and diving expeditions will describe the recruitment of young groupers on small coastal seabeds. In addition, an awareness program for students is planned along with the sharing of experiences with the scientific community, thanks to their network. The LIFE project is made possible principally with Europeans funds (60%), as well as national investment, and is the first project of its kind in Saint Martin On January 9-11, Aude met with Delphine Morin, the coordination of the LIFE project for the LPO, who has worked on the field in Saint Martin. Then on January 21-23, she and Julien Chalifour, scientific director of the Réserve, were trained by Florent Bignon and Awatef Abbiah in the use of TESSA, a tool made available by the European Commission to measure the various factors that impact the natural milieu and the consequences on the role that milieu plays on the island.

De gauche à droite / From left to right : Régis Armengaud, représentant de la DEAL ; Christophe Joe, garde de la RN ; Nicolas Maslach, directeur de la RN ; Ashley Daniel, garde de la RN et Anne-Marie Bouillé, chargée de mission du Conservatoire du littoral à Saint-Martin
De gauche à droite : Régis Armengaud, représentant de la DEAL ; Christophe Joe, garde de la RN ; Nicolas Maslach, directeur de la RN ; Ashley Daniel, garde de la RN et Anne-Marie Bouillé, chargée de mission du Conservatoire du littoral

Inaugurated in March 2018 at the Babit Point site by Anne-Marie Bouillé, head of the Conservatoire du Littoral in Saint Martin, an observation map allows the public to identify the magnificent landscapes overlooking the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the surrounding hillsides on the other. The map is embedded in a table made of lava, which should resist the weather over time. This is part of the ecological and landscaping restoration project at Babit Point, led by the Conservatoire du Littoral and the Réserve Naturelle in collaboration with local residents. In June 2013, members of the Oyster Pond homeowners’ association donated a 4.7-hectare plot of land to the Conservatoire du Littoral. This acquisition was added to the purchase of a 1.8-hectare plot, bought by the Conservatoire in April 2013 from local sellers. The project started in 2014 with the demolition of a house in ruins and continued with the installation of a wooden enclosure in 2015. The next step will be the creation of a reception area for the public, as well as a botanic nature walk. The overall project was funded at 80% by the French government and 20% self-funded by the Conservatoire du Littoral, for a total of 112,231 euros.

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