September 18th, 2015

The completion of the Life+ Cap DOM programme!

After five years of work, the Life+ Cap DOM programme, supported by the European Commission and…
August 31st, 2015

[Video] The STOC in French Guiana

Since 2012, GEPOG has been running a STOC (point count) survey in French Guiana, along with the…
August 25th, 2015

[Video] SEOR: a look back over the five years of the programme

A few weeks before the end of the Life+ Cap DOM programme, François-Xavier Couzi, Director of…

A collective success for the conservation of biodiversity overseas

On Wednesday July 1st, in Paris, the seminar on the European programme, Life+ Cap DOM took place.
Around a hundred people involved in the field of biodiversity were present, both from mainland France and the overseas territories, to consider the current state of affairs, over two days, of five years of study and conservation of nature in the overseas territories.

Here are some examples of success stories from this conservation programme.

Réunion cuckooshrike, tuit-tuit, Yabalex

The ’Tuit-tuit’, saved from extinction
Classified since 2008 as ’in critical danger of extinction’, the Réunion Cuckooshrike or ’Tuit-tuit’, a species endemic to La Réunion, has seen its numbers fall dramatically due to predation by Black Rats, which were introduced to the island by man. Their numbers having become of plague proportions because of the huge amounts of rubbish available, the rats became the target from 2010 of an eradication campaign, undertaken jointly by SEOR, the National Park of La Réunion and the ONF (national forestry organisation). The result of this has been a 50% increase in the numbers of the cuckooshrike, increasing from 27 pairs in 2010 to 40 in 2015, and, over five years, around a hundred young have fledged. A real success story for a species on the edge of extinction.

Local involvement reinforced in French Guiana and La Réunion
Restricted and relatively poorly known habitats, the savannas of French Guiana cover less than 1% of the territory. Situated along the coast, they are faced by significant threats from urbanisation, habitat fragmentation, and invasive species. Over the past year, partners and inhabitants of Sinnamary and Iracoubo have got together to discuss enhancement of the savannas. Since 2012, accompanied by an anthropologist from the University of Antilles-Guyane, a pilot project aimed at promoting eco-tourism in the savannas has been untaken in a participative manner during open workshops which mix landscaping and soundscapes. Seventeen interviews with older inhabitants, farmers, partners and savanna residents have allowed everyone to share their knowledge about this unique and diverse ecosystem. This way of working is considered essential to guarantee a good balance between cultural diversity and the natural heritage.

The release

Another success story involving local participation involves the ’brigades Papangue’. With a population of fewer than 200 pairs, the Réunion Harrier, also called the Papangue, and classed as ’in danger’, is the only remaining raptor breeding on La Réunion. EDF, the Chambre d’agriculture, the Groupement de Défense Sanitaire (GDS) and the Fédération Départementale des Groupements de Défense contre les Organismes Nuisibles (FDGDON) have all worked together to find ways of minimising the various risks to which the species is subject. To reinforce their actions in the field, a series of patrols have been set up – ’les brigades SOS Papangue’ – calling on 77 volunteers to count the numbers of this species at three pilot sites and to get local people to inform them of any bird found injured or poisoned as soon as possible.

Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, French Guiana, M. Dechelle

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock: reconciling conservation of its habitat with economic activities in French Guiana
In French Guiana, one of the aims of the Life+ Cap DOM programme is to protect the breeding sites of the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, a bird whose plumage is both strange and exotic. To preserve its habitat, threatened by mining activities, forestry and tourism, especially during the breeding season, GEPOG has been working in conjunction with mining operators and other local businesses. To better identify the bird’s feeding areas and home range, several items have been put in place: training courses for tourism staff, a brochure to increase awareness of the bird’s needs for those working in the three forests where the species lives, and a technical guide on good practice available in French, English and Spanish.

Download the state of play of the LIFE+ CAP DOM programme