Wetlands of International Importance: France, Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin


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Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin (Photo: DRAE)

Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin, Baie des Veys. 08/04/91; Basse-Normandie; 32,500 ha; 49º23’N 001º10’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Hunting Reserve, Natural Reserve, Reserves du domaine public fluvial, Arrête de protection de biotope. An extensive complex of marshes and associated floodplains converging at a coastal embayment. Vegetation consists of converted and unconverted wet grassland and the largest peatlands in France. The area is extremely important for breeding, staging and wintering numerous species of waterbirds, and provides habitat for a variety of passerines and various species of notable plants. Human activities include pastoralism, hunting and fishing. As agriculture declines, natural succession will occur, ultimately replacing flora and fauna presently of great conservation significance with woodland species. The principal aim of the park is to maintain extensive agricultural practices to preserve the marsh habitat. Ramsar site no. 516.

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