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N°4 - September-October 2017


To end the year, many activities are available: nature outing, seminar, photo competition ... add them to your diaries!


Vaccarès frozen... but in which year ?


A faithful follower sent us this photo of the frozen Vaccarès, can you tell us in which year it was taken? Answer in the next letter!

Associations' Festival


The association was present on Sunday, September 17th in the Boulevard des Lices on the occasion of the Associations’ Festival, organized by the town of Arles.

Many visitors stopped by our booth and showed interest in the association.

Thank you to the members of the association who spent a few hours with us on the booth.


Thanks to La Palissade


A big thank you to the Domaine de la Palissade for hosting the exhibition “People and Wetlands” from July to October. The exhibition met with great success and the adventure continues in Arles in November (see agenda section).

Friends' seminar


Thomas Galewski will present, on Tuesday November 7th at 18:30 in the Auditorium of the House of the Associative Life of Arles, a Friend’s seminar with the title:


"The birdlife of the Camargue: two centuries of change"


The event is free and without registration, so we hope to see many of you!


The Camargue is recognized as a site of international importance for birds. Flamingos, herons, spoonbills, ducks, cranes but also raptors and a multitude of passerines breed or use it as a stopover during their migration between Europe and Africa. This fame has a long history: the first books dedicated to the Camargue birds were published as early as the 18th century. The examination of these writings as well as dozens of others who succeeded during the next two centuries reveal profound changes in the avifauna of the delta of the Rhone. Some species have disappeared, others have appeared, many have seen their numbers considerably changed over time. We will show that these changes owe nothing to chance and are a reflection of the landscape upheavals that have accompanied the economic development of the Camargue and beyond - of Europe as a whole.


Nature outing


Saturday, November 18th from 9am to 12pm, wearing your best boots (or other walking shoes depending on the weather), join Marion Lourenço, technician ranger of the Regional Nature Reserve of Tour du Valat who will guide you to the observatory of St Seren.


Registration required by Monday, November 13th.




Photo competition 2017 


More and even bluer, the first pictures from the participants in the second round of our photo-competition are starting to arrive.


You have until November 26th - don’t wait any longer, participate!


Exhibition "People and Wetlands" 


This is the gallery of the House of the Associative Life of the city of Arles, Bd des Lices, which hosts our exhibition throughout November (Monday to Friday).


Delphine Nicolas is researcher at the Tour du Valat for the conservation biology of fish species.    



When did you first visit Tour du Valat and what was the occasion?

It was my birthday, in October 2015. I came for a job interview. And ... I returned two months later as a new researcher for the conservation biology of fish species, to take over from Alain Crivelli. Youpi!


What was your first impression?

My very first impression: I was surprised by the number of cars parked under the plane trees... There are many people in lost place! An isolation that certainly contributes to the spirit of refuge and the friendly and welcoming atmosphere that reigns there. Warm welcome and all smiles...

I gradually discovered the atypical world of the Tour du Valat: ornithologists and other naturalists, researchers and / or managers, all passionate and excited, a large estate with horses and bulls, a school, a castle, Homemade grape juice ... I quickly fell in love with it.


What is your best memory at Tour du Valat?

One winter's evening, I went home by bike ... when suddenly, a flight of cranes passed a few meters above my head ... what a thrill!


What was your best encounter at the Tour du Valat?

I will simply say the magic of Tour du Valat: working in a reserve, an open-air laboratory in direct contact with nature and its seasonal rhythms, around which gravitates a whole set of actors. A complex context in which a rare diversity of encounters multiply: scientists, fishermen, students, managers, elected officials, photographers, financers, artists, teachers, etc. In addition, the Tour du Valat, enables exchanges with foreign partners. I will mention in particular the Slovenian team of Dušan Jesenšek with whom I work twice a year. A very nice meeting with employees with a big heart, in a positive context - magnificent!  


What emblematic species of Camargue do you prefer?

The European eel, for sure! A species that has an incredible life cycle. It travels thousands of kilometers, it can venture into all aquatic environments, from the great ocean depths to streams above 1000m altitude, it metamorphoses twice ... and still makes many mysteries. A remarkable beast for sure, but beware this species is critically in danger of extinction!


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

To support the associative life of the Tour, discover the originality of our site to the maximum, share our discoveries and maintain the links with the former colleagues or the curious.


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

This is the place to learn about wetlands, its inhabitants and even more its affinities. Be curious and open your senses of observation, get into amphibious mode, diurnal or nocturnal, with optional binoculars or microscope ... Enjoy participating in the wide variety of field activities (count toads or rabbits , raising dragonflies or planting pear trees, banding ibis or removing invasive plants, calf testing, catching terrapins or fish, etc.). Enjoy the beautiful library, seminars, exchange with specialists or less specialists ... And become an ambassador for wetlands!

News from Tour du Valat

    As part of the cycle of annual conferences on the theme of conservation biology, initiated by the Tour du Valat to pay tribute to the work of Heinz Hafner for the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands, Frédéric Thomas, administrator of the Association of Friends, will present on Thursday, November 16th at 18:30 in the Jean-Paul Taris conference room of the Tour du Valat:


    "What the sciences of Ecology, Evolution and Conservation teach us about Cancer"


    Registration by 9 November is mandatory, by following the link.


    The Tour du Valat contributed actively to the Camargue Park Festival, held this year in Le Sambuc on Sunday 1st October, through several activities on the Domaine de la Tour du Valat and its surroundings.


    In short, the Program... 

    • Results of the 21st year of monitoring the Pond terrapin population at Tour du Valat : 594 animal were caught in 2017 including 50 new individuals marked.
    • Fieldwork carried out in Slovenia for the long-term survey of endemic and introduced trout species.
    • Edition of the Letter of the lagoons for August-September 2017. 

    Papers and publications


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



    The team

    • Recruitment of Marion Lourenço on a permanent but seasonal contract as technical guard of the Natural Regional Reserve.

    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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