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N°2 - May 2017


For this second edition, we have added the section "interviewing a friend" which will allow you to better know each other.


It was in 1965 at Tour du Valat...


You or people you know are present on this picture? Do not hesitate to send us your/their names!


You can also send us recent or old photos taken at the Tour du Valat... to help us enriching our photo library.



2017 photo competition


It's official, there will be a new photo competition this year. Be ready, this year’s theme and dates will be unveiled in early summer!


"People and Wetlands" exhibition


You can find the 18 photos of our exhibition throughout the month of June in the lobby of the Jean-Paul Taris conference room at Tour du Valat.


It will then be visible at the Palissade in July and August.


Nature outing


The last nature outing organized by the Friends of Tour du Valat Association took place on a rainy day, but the raindrops did not suffice to demotivate the registered members and the guide of the day, Patrick Grillas, Program director. “The arms of the Rhone through time: from river to temporary pond" was the theme of the outing.

The day began with a visit of present-day Rhone at Tourtoulen then from the Rhone of Ulmet at Tour du Valat, finishing, after a lunch break sheltered, by the Cerisières of Tour du Valat (residual traces of former courses of the Rhone of Ulmet). 

This trip has covered 4 to 5 millennia of history and allowed to discover very different ecosystems accompanied by an exciting guide.

Friends' seminar


Monday 29th May, in the Jean-Paul Taris conference room at Tour du Valat, Sylviane Johnson shared many images of her trip to Antarctica from 10 to 25 February 2014. 



News from Tour du Valat

    • Tour du Valat hosted the company "Ecumerie" in residence as part of a partnership with the "Citron Jaune"/"Envies Rhônements".



    • A space dedicated to Alan Johnson was inaugurated within the Ornithological Park of Pont de Gau. A sign reminiscing the journey of Alan and his contribution was unveiled on this occasion in the presence of his wife Sylviane, his friends and his collaborators.

    General meeting and Friends' Day


    Saturday June 24th, 2017 at 11 am will be held our next General Assembly. It will be followed by the film "Dans la peau d'une tortue" (In a turtle’s skin) with the intervention of Anthony Olivier, technician ranger of the regional nature reserve of Tour du Valat on the long-term monitoring of the European pond terrapin. After lunch, Anthony will propose to follow him in the field to discover the European pond terrapin.

    A playful workshop will be offered to children in the morning from 10:30.


    Thank you for confirming your presence before June 16th.

    Tour du Valat's agenda


    Participation of Tour du Valat in the 9th festival of the Camargue and the Rhône Delta (from 2nd  to 6th of June): nature outings, "Art, nature and utopia" shows, conference-debate ... For more information:


    Take note ! On Saturday, June 3rd, an Art in Landscapes day will be held at Tour du Valat.  


    Erika Audry has just spent a year of civic service at Tour du Valat with the Pôle-relais Lagunes méditerranéennes as an ambassador of Mediterranean lagoons. 

    She kindly agreed to answer our questions.  


    Erika proposes her candidacy as "project manager in lagoon management". See her resume and cover letter.


    When did you come for the first time to Tour du Valat and what was the occasion?  

    I arrived at Tour du Valat a year ago to start a civic service contract as an ambassador of the French Mediterranean lagoons with the Pôle-relais lagunes méditerranéennes. At that time I did not know Tour du Valat and I quickly realized how fortunate I was to be in a place where the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands is a daily issue.


    What was your first impression?

    I first found Camargue to be very flat, with little landscape diversity, then I arrived at Tour du Valat and I immediately liked this environment surrounded by nature and lush vegetation. Later, I also learned to love the large expanses of Camargue which I find very soothing and rejuvenating.


    What is your best memory at Tour du Valat?

    There are many of them, of course, but my best memory is a ringing of mocking gull on the salines of Aigues-Mortes in July 2016. We had to start the ringing early in the morning, we arrived for the sunrise and I remember the view of the walled city in the early morning, it was beautiful. It was also my first bird ringing and I keep a very fond memory!


    What was your best meeting at Tour du Valat?

    I had the chance to meet and greet Mr. Luc Hoffmann on one of the paths through Tour du Valat shortly after my arrival in last April. When one knows all Luc Hoffmann has done for the preservation of wetlands and natural habitats in the world, it was an impressive moment for me.


    What emblematic species of Camargue do you prefer?

    The European Bee-eater; this is the first bird that really impressed me when I arrived here. Since I am not a passionate birdwatcher, I did not know many species of birds and it was at Tour du Valat that I began to learn to identify birds and the European Bee-eater with its very intense colors immediately caught my eye.


    Why did you join the Friends of Tour du Valat Association?

    After my departure from Tour du Valat, it was a good way to keep in touch and stay informed about the scientific activities of the Tour throughout the year.


    Do you have any advice or messages to pass on to the future generations who will come spend some time at  Tour du Valat?

    Be curious, opened to others and especially not to hesitate to walk on the estate and participate in the field campaigns of the scientific team of Tour du Valat!

    In short, the Program... 

    • Building nesting sites to increase attractiveness of the Flamingo nesting island.
    • Presentation of the results from the 2016 mosquito-trap experiment at the Sambuc « town hall ».
    • Ringing of 217 Eurasian spoonbill chick.
    • Construction of a platform to promote the nesting of Osprey at Tourtoulen riparian forest.

    Papers and publications


              All the work carried out by Tour du Valat can be found at the following address :



    The team

    • Marie Suet was recruited on a short-term contract for 5 months to support AEWA (African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement) UST (Technical support unit).
    • Johanna Perret was recruited on a short-term part-time contract to replace Rosalie Florens.

      Follow us on Facebook: or on our website. The brochure presenting the Association, including the membership form, can be downloaded here. 


      For any information or suggestions, contact us at +33 (0)4 90 97 29 79 or

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