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The National Nature Reserve «Michel Brosselin» from Saint Denis du Payré

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Created in 1976, the National Nature Reserve "Michel Brosselin", located in the heart of the Marais poitevin, protects 207 hectares of natural wet meadows. The alternation of "drops" (moist depressions) and "beautiful" (drier high parts) form a microrelief favourable to biodiversity and 272 species of birds have already been observed there.

The first known observation of Common Crane dates back to 1974 and since winter 2006-2007, a roosting place appeared on the nature reserve. Birds also use the other roosting place already known, the saline meadows in the Nature Reserve of the Bay of Aiguillon.

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Photo : Christian König


Once rare in Vendee, this species is now become a regular host, even if this department is located far away from its usual migration corridor. This is due to the exceptional crossing of cranes in the autumn 1982, during which several thousands of birds had been deported by violent winds from South-East, that the wintering is gradually set up in the sector.


The presence of large feeding areas of also (cultures of the polders and marsh meadows) and the necessary quietude for the roost, offered by the two natural reserves, allow the cranes to find there ideal wintering conditions. Currently, several hundreds of birds regularly make a halt in South-Vendee between November and March. This number, if it remains modest, is nonetheless a bit amazing for the french West-Central Atlantic.

For the peace of the cranes and the rest of the avifauna, access to the Nature Reserve of Saint-Denis-du-Payre is regulated and prohibited outside opening periods. Discovery events are nevertheless possible on reservation. Information on these animations on the website of the reserve.

Information : Katia RAIMBAULT (National Nature Reserve « Michel Brosselin »)
Translation: Sylvie Gendeau