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Newsletter # 33 - April 2020 


The Mediterranean Wetlands Newsletter




Thinking and taking action in the post-corona virus world!


The feverish race of our societies has been stopped in its tracks by the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, no matter how dramatic and anguishing it may be, this disruption gives us a unique opportunity to analyze our foundations, to imagine the post-Covid 19 world and make it become reality.


We can step aside and back. Realize that this health crisis is rooted in our irresponsible relationship vis-à-vis all other living organisms, in a model of development that has made us even more vulnerable. Everything was primed to set off this volatile cocktail: exploding human populations increasingly concentrated in the multiplying number of megacities, hyperconnectivity and mobility without solidarity, not to mention the destruction of natural habitats and human incursions into wildlife areas. Add a large dose of denial and indifference concerning the climate crisis and the collapse of biodiversity, and a zest of virus, even if it is not very contagious and has a low mortality rate in people. Let it stand and observe the result…


Faced with this unprecedented situation, it is urgent to implement the One Health approach that encompasses the challenges facing ecosystem, veterinary, and human health.

It is urgent for us to invent new forms of regional solidarity that fully respect nature and make farming a central activity in the local geopolitical area.

It is urgent for us to listen to scientific experts and use their advice as a basis for public policy.

In a word, it is urgent for us to reconcile People with Nature, the goal pursued by Luc Hoffmann throughout his lifetime, and which is at the heart of our mission at the Tour du Valat.

Expertise at the service of decision-making, health ecology, and agroecology—three of the many other complementary approaches developed by the Tour du Valat and its numerous partners. Together today, let’s invent the solutions of tomorrow!

Jean Jalbert

Director General





Anatidae in the Camargue

Researchers from Tour du Valat are giving an overview of the anatidae situation in the Camargue and providing some perspectives in the context of climate change.


Questions for...

Lucie Schmaltz is National Coordinator of the International Waterbird Census at the French society for the protection of birds/Birdlife France.


The effectiveness of the Ramsar convention in preserving wintering waterbirds in the Mediterranean


An international collaboration involving several researchers highlighted the effectiveness of Ramsar sites for waterbirds to enhance waterbird populations across the Mediterranean Basin.


Launch of an innovative European project for the concerted management of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean Sea, TUNE UP


The objectives of this project are to experiment a collaborative approach that has already been successfully tested in other environments, promoting the implementation of voluntary management contracts.


A great success for the 2020 edition of the Tour du Valat open day


Perfect weather on this Sunday 2 February 2020 to welcome the 580 visitors who attended this day in honour of wetlands.



Tour du Valat at the World Economic Forum in Davos - Wetlands: embodying global challenges – and solving them


The Tour du Valat was present at the World Economic Forum in Davos to defend nature-based solutions as a relevant answer to the issues of the 21st century.


Degradation of natural habitats affects the adjustment of birds to climate change


Researchers from the Tour du Valat and the Centre for Ecology and Conservation Sciences have studied the combined effects of the degradation of natural habitats and climate warming on bird populations in the Mediterranean basin.


Defense of Antoine Gazaix’s PhD on Lythrum thesioides conservation


Antoine Gazaix successfully defended on December 13, 2019 his doctoral thesis entitled “Ecologie des Lythrum annuels des mares temporaires méditerranéennes. Applications à la conservation de L. thesioides dans les Costières de Nimes."


Video of Anne Charmantier's Heinz Hafner 2019 conference


The Tour du Valat Heinz Hafner yearly series of conference was the occasion to welcome Dr. Anne Charmantier, Director of Research at the CEFE-CNRS Montpellier, on 5 November 2019.

You can now watch his conference in English.


Training on Nature-based solutions with ReNature in Malta


ReNature project offered a training course on the 24 and 25 February 2020 in Malta. The topic of this course was nature-based solutions in rural areas. A representative from the Tour du Valat partipated.


20 years of the Transboundary Prespa Park


2 lakes, 2 decades of transboundary collaboration, more than 2020 steps taken for the protection of Prespa.


Petition of Scientists of the Vojsa River handed to Albanian President


The Vjosa River in Albania is one of the most iconic rivers in Europe. Together with its tributaries it forms the most intact river system of the continent outside Russia. However, the Vjosa is at risk due to the planned construction of hydropower plants as well as infrastructural development plans near the river’s mouth.


2019 results of the annual waterbird censuses in France


The French Bird Protection League (LPO) has just published the results of the last bird census in France, conducted in mid-January 2019.

A total of 2,704,291 waterbirds were counted in this latest edition of the Wetlands International censuses in metropolitan France.




Champagnon J., Kayser Y., Petit J., Marion L., Reeber S., Blanchon T., Hilaire S., Badone I., Crouzier P., Purenne R., Gauthier-Clerc M. 2019. The Settlement of Glossy Ibis in France. SIS Conservation 1:50-55


Hess M.C.M., Buisson E., Jaunatre R., Mesléard F., Singh I. 2019. Using limiting similarity to enhance invasion resistance: Theoretical and practical concerns. Journal of Applied Ecology Online:7


Gaget E., Le Viol I., Pavón-Jordán D., Cazalis V., Kerbiriou C., Jiguet F., Popoff N., Dami L., Mondain-monval J.Y., Defos du Rau P., Abdou W.A.I., Bozic L., Dakki M., Encarnação V.M.F., Erciyas-Yavuz K., et al. 2020. Assessing the effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention in preserving wintering waterbirds in the Mediterranean. Biological Conservation 243:108485. 


As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic associated with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, our public events and those of our partners are suspended until further notice.


Tour du Valat is teleworking. To contact us, please consult our organization chart !


Tour du Valat - Research institute for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands


Le Sambuc 13200 Arles - Tél. + 33 (0)4 90 97 20 13 -


Editorial comittee: Coralie Hermeloup, Jean Jalbert et Muriel Arcaute-Gevrey



Have contributed to this issue: J. Champagnon, T. Galewski, P. Grillas, M. Guillemain, J-Y. Mondain-Monval, J-B Mouronval, L. Schmaltz D. Vallecillo. Photo credits: Mathieu Charrier, Ysbrand Galama, Thomas Galewski, Hervé Hôte, Anthony Olivier, Tour du Valat, J. Jalbert/Tour du Valat (bandeau). Translation: Charles La Via.

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