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Centre France

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This zone extends from the Nièvre department (58) to extreme West of Saône-et-Loire (71) to Indre (36) in the West, through departement of Allier (03) and Cher (18). The Creuse department (23) holds only very occasionally a few wintering birds but includes an important staging area, the Etang des Landes, for Common Cranes during migration. Between the two major wintering sites in France, this « Central France » area is about 250 km southwest of Lac du Der (51-52) and 350 km northeast of Landes (40).
After a few wintering records during the 1970’s, Common Cranes increasingly used different sites from the early 1980’s and especially from the winter 1996-1997. Since 2009, more than 10 sites are used by cranes each winter, with a total population between 9500 and 16000 birds.
The wintering sites are of two types : classically one to several ponds in large cultivated areas (mostly maize), or more remarkably, a rarer habitat in Europe, cultivated areas associated with woodlands along the two « wild » rivers, Loire and Allier. These sites are sometimes small and highly sensitive to human disturbance.

Therefore it is imperative to watch cranes only from roads to limit this disturbance, and never try to approach the roosts. Moreover, the cranes are on private properties which must be respected. Farmers tolerate the cranes in spite of the damage they may do to crops. So, one must not add the harm of walking through fields, to get close to cranes or to photograph them, as some too often happen to do. Be strictly respectful of these constraints to maintain the wintering sites in this region.

Saison 2017/2018

Centre France

Date Allier Cher 1 Cher 2 Cher 3 Creuse Indre Nièvre 1 Nièvre 2 Nièvre 3    Total   
19/11/2017     190              
18/11/207   1 050       2 300        
16/11/2017               > 900    
15/11/2017                 102  
5/11/2017   1 116         2 177      
31/10/2017     1 000              
15/10/2017                   

Saison 2016/2017

Centre France

Date Allier Cher 1 Cher 2 Cher 3 Creuse Indre Nièvre 1 Nièvre 2 Nièvre 3    Total   
18/01/2017           1 342        
14/01/2017   2 637  6 861   1582   3 840 2 053  1 521  686  >23412 
12/01/2017 4 232                  
08/01/2017               >1500    
07/01/2017     >3000              
05/01/2017             >2748      
29/12/2016     2700       >5000      
27/12/2016             5500      
19/12/2016             2500      
15/12/2016             >3100      
14/12/2016     >3000              
7/12/2016           8200 >2000       
30/11/2016             >1200      
23/11/2016     5500              
22/11/2016 >1300                  
20/11/2016   10000           >2000 >1100 35000 (record)
19/11/2016       > 10    8000        
17/11/2016     4000   50   7000      
14/11/2016             2000      
9/11/2016     600       2300      
6/11/2016             1500      
5/11/2016   2673                
3/11/2016               350    
30/10/2016                 50  
29/10/2016             750      
20/10/2016             463      
 9/10/2016    132 14               
5/10/2016             >20      

The wintering sites and major staging areas are followed by the members, volunteers and professionals, of several local associations :
In l’Allier, par Guillaume Leroux, Jean-Christophe Sautour, Sylvain Vrignaud , ...
In Cher, par Yves Bolnot, Sébastien Brunet, Jean-Michel Chartendrault, Stéphane Coquery, Stéphane Lebreton, Sébastien Merle, Brigitte & Didier Migneau, Faustin Moreau, Annie & Alain Ouzet, Jean-François Ozbolt, Johann Pitois, Françoise et Michel Roger, ...
In Creuse, by the staff of the Natural Reserve de l’Etang des Landes

Information : Sébastien Merle