World Wetlands Day in France
Ramsar site named in Corsica
France designates temporary pools for World Wetlands Day
The Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development of France has designated France's 24th Wetland of International Importance on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2007. Mares temporaires de Tre Padule de Suartone (218 hectares, 41°46'N 009°24'E) is a Réserve naturelle comprising four temporary pools and their catchments and two temporary streams in the southeast of Corsica, dominated by several types of scrub, rock rose, and spring grasses. The existence of the pools in an almost semi-arid granitic landscape, rich in species adapted to extreme conditions, is a rare geomorphological phenomenon in the region. The pools support a great diversity of species of which most are rare and closely associated with this type of environment, including four amphibian species that are protected at national level. They are naturally formed wetlands representative of the Mediterranean as their hydrological functioning is intimately bound to the climate of the region, enjoying shallow water at 25 to 50 cm depth from late autumn to late spring and drying out from evaporation during the month of May.
The principal land use is the grazing of cattle and, to a lesser extent, goats, though these seem to have declined since 2000. The site is the only site of temporary pools in France that has been classed as a nature reserve and benefits from effective management and awareness-raising efforts. The threat from four-wheel sport vehicles has diminished since the arrival of a site manager.
This new designation is being celebrated in ceremonies just after World Wetlands Day, 10 February (programme here, Photos). France presently has 24 Ramsar sites covering a surface area of 828,803 hectares.
The Tre Padule Centre in four seasons