On the Atlantic coast between La Rochelle and Rochefort, lies the Nature Reserve of Marais d’Yves, one of the most advantageous locations to observe animal life due to its location along a major migratory pathway. Management of the National Nature Reserve Marais d’Yves is undertaken by the association Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, and is one of the 14 Nature Centres in the department of Charente-Maritime.
This little patch of coastline, made of beautiful landscapes and a mixture of habitats, is home to a multitude of different animal and plant species: the 192 hectares forms a patchwork made up of foreshore mudflats, dunes and lagoons, marshes and reed beds, damp prairies, tamarind hedges, copses and thickets, saltwater and freshwater ponds…
Benefiting from both Mediterranean and Atlantic influences, there is a rich flora comprising a record of 574 different flowing species (10% of which are urban varieties) and is the 10th nature reserve of this size to harbour this abundance in the whole of France. Here we find 47 rare or endangered species, on a European level (Navelwort), specific to France (Crypsis aculeate, Euphorbia peplis) and on a regional level.
At the heart of a network of protected Atlantic coastal areas, the Yves bay Nature Reserve represents a vital international stopover for thousands of birds (249 species have been recorded). Icelandic Black-tailed barge, red knot … over 20,000 waders, hundreds of ducks and greylag geese take advantage of this prised food store each year and its peaceful ‘welcome break’ effect.
The springtime sees storks coupling, building their nests and hatching and feeding their young, all under the watchful eye of the Highland cows and ponies gr<gazing on the prairies.