La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

Journal de la Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin

Le Journal de la Réserve

Newsletter 24 - 2015

Le Journal de la Réserve


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Ramona Connor, Vice-president, Collectivity of Saint Martin, Vice-president, AGOA management council

Vice-president, Collectivity of Saint Martin
Vice-president, AGOA management council

À l’heure où l’état de santé de notre planète est mis à mal par l’influence grandissante des activités de l’Homme, la citoyenne que je suis a pleinement conscience de l’importance et de l’urgence de la protection de notre biodiversité. Le monde entier est concerné par cette menace, et le rétablissement vers une situation plus équilibrée ne pourra se faire qu’avec un regain de lucidité générale. Concrètement, au jour le jour, sur notre petite île, cela signifie qu’il est indispensable de faire les bons gestes et les bons choix en faveur de notre environnement et de notre patrimoine. C’est pourquoi je ne peux que soutenir et encourager le travail de la Réserve naturelle. La mise en place de pépinières de coraux, l’élaboration d’habitats artificiels pour les espèces marines, la protection des mammifères marins ou bien sûr la création de l’Institut caribéen de la biodiversité insulaire sont des actions qui vont dans le bon sens. À notre échelle, c’est en donnant l’exemple et en communiquant largement que nous participerons à un monde meilleur, et que nous ferons de notre île un endroit où il fait bon vivre.

Le Journal de la Réserve

Better Knowledge About Protected Areas And Protected Species

Les éponges constituent la plus grande partie des récifs coralliens de la Caraïbe © Julien Chalifour

The Pacotilles project, whose goal was to collect samples of coral, sponges, algae, and small crustaceans throughout the French Antilles archipelago - including Saint Martin - in order to deepen our knowledge about the underwater biodiversity in that zone, took place in two phases. Phase two, held on May 26 and 27, included participation by scientists primarily interested in sponges, which make up the majority of the Caribbean reefs, as compared to the reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which are primary coral. A tasty item on the menu for hawkbill turtles and angelfish, some of these sponges tend to develop in darkness, or crevices of the reef, where they are less...+ infos

© Océane Beaufort

The third session of the Negara program - as in Negaprion, the scientific name for the lemon shark - took place from May 18-23, 2015, once again under the leadership of Oceane Beaufort, an expert in this large cartilaginous fish currently seen in their juvenile stage along the island’s beaches, where they come into more frequent contact with swimmers. A team from the Réserve Naturelle and this young scientist turned their attention to the lagoon south of the small island of Tintamare, where they tested a fishnet acquired by the Réserve Naturelle, in the hopes of capturing a lemon shark without hurting it. This technique is less aggressive than fishing with a hook, but is...+ infos

Green turtle equipped with a beacon and an antenna © Julien Chalifour

Four green turtles were captured in Bay Blanche at Tintamare - then released - as part of the SeaTag operation on June 14-16, 2015 The goal of this project, financed by Europe, the Region of Guadeloupe, DEAL, Biome funds, and the EDF Foundation, is to increase knowledge about the green turtles in the Guadeloupe archipelago. Éric Delcroix, in charge of this project for the Réserve Naturelle of Petite-Terre, participated along with Antoine Chabrolle, who is responsible for marine turtles at the ONCFS, as well as Océane Beaufort and Caroline Cestor-Magro, from the association Kap Natirel. The four green turtles in question were captured near their feeding grounds and were...+ infos

Caroline Fleury et un iguane des Petites Antilles (Iguana Delicatissima) | Caroline Fleury holding an iguana (Iguana Delicatissima)

Caroline Fleury, who has been working in the scientific department of the Réserve since February 2015, focused on La Désirade from June 6-10, 2015, in time for the annual study of the population of Lesser Antilles iguana (Iguana delicatissima). This experience allowed her to familiarize herself with the capture, manipulation, and marking of this endangered species. The project was coordinated by the association, Le Gaïac, and financed by the French National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS), in regard to everything that concerns this reptile in the French Antilles.+ infos

Managing The Impact Of Human Activities In Protected Areas

The number of green monkeys continues to increase in Saint Martin, and their presence is becoming more of an issue.
This species is present on both sides of the island and the government of Sint Maarten contacted the Réserve Naturelle in light of a joint collaboration for their control on both sides of the frontier. Many residents have observed groups of these green monkeys in natural habitats, but also in urbanized areas such as Concordia, Hope Estate, Rambaud, or Terres Basses. People have found themselves nose-to-nose with a monkey stealing food from their kitchen, while others have noted aggressive behavior on the part of the monkeys toward humans and pets....+ infos

The Conservatoire du Littoral has instituted a two-phase restoration project for the Babit Point site at Oyster Pond. The first phase has been completed, with the demolition of a house in ruins and closing of the site to restrict access by vehicles. The second phase, which consists of enhancing the natural beauty of the site, will take place at a later date, in accordance with all of the residents of the neighborhood.+ infos

Les ruines du Galion vues du ciel Aerial picture of the ruins in The Galion

The legal tangles in the confrontation between the Conservatoire du Littoral and the SCI Le Galion, owner of land parcel AW16 - where the ruins of a former hotel continued to decay - have reached a positive point following a price set for the sale of this land. In consequence, the Conservatoire can take possession of the site and start demolition of the ruins, which were an eyesore. This demolition project is expected to take six months with a budget of 660,000 euros. The high budget is due to the presence of asbestos in the buildings and very strict regulations concerning the treatment of this hazardous material. The call for bids has been launched: the work will begin...+ infos

A total of 54 rats were trapped in two weeks on Tintamare as well as 23 rats and 6 mice in one week on Pinel, during a special campaign to capture them held in July 2015. These numbers are lower than those of a similar operation in 2013, during which 268 rats were killed on Tintamare, and 78 rats and 41 mice on Pinel. The reduction of food due to drought conditions is a probable cause for the reduced presence of these rodents on the two islands. At the same time, on Pinel, the restaurateurs have been better treating their garbage and discarded food and act on their side to regulate the population of rodents. Non-indigenous species, rats and mice love the eggs of birds...+ infos

After a disappointing first experience, the Conservatoire du Littoral is once again trying to install dry toilets on Pinel. Thanks to successful experimentation by one of the island’s restaurateurs, who has had success with toilets that operate using a new technical system adapted to a tropical climate, the Conservatoire is going to install three such systems in collaboration with the Réserve Naturelle. The first will be installed shortly, and the other two in the spring of 2016.+ infos

Police Activity

A gardener, who also sells seashells, decided to set up shop and do business alongside the Etang aux Poissons and was reported by the wardens of the Réserve on July 17, 2015. This individual had cleared along the edge of the pond in order to plant palm trees and coconut trees, and was selling conch - a protected species whose fishing is regulated - to tourists who stopped in front of his open-air stall. He was ticketed for illegal occupation of land belonging to the Réserve Naturelle, non-authorized destruction of a protected species, carrying out foresting and agriculture - as well as commercial and artisanal activities - in a nature reserve. On July 30, the wardens of...+ infos

On June 27, 2015, the animal refuge for the association, Pawsitive,
located in the Réserve Naturelle along the Route du Galion, was once again cited for having cleared trees on a protected site within the Réserve Naturelle without authorization. In addition, they also put up an enclosure: work done without any authorization+ infos

A month later, on July 27, Julien Chalifour and his crew were on a scientific mission at sea when they came across two swimmers equipped with flippers and masks near Caye Verte, in the waters of the Réserve Naturelle. Intrigued by the attitude of these two men, Julien asked them a few questions before bringing them aboard the boat and taking them back to the beach in Orient Bay. The crew returned to the same spot and upon diving found harpoon guns and conch that were sadly already dead. The guns were confiscated and the conch thrown back into the open seas.+ infos

On September 23, fisherman was caught in the channel near Pinel in possession of eight living conch, which were quickly returned to the water.+ infos

Restoration Of Degraded Areas And Populations

Work continues in three nurseries for coral that were created in the spring of 2015 in the waters around Tintamare, Caye Verte, and Pinel. It will be a year before it is possible to measure any significant growth of the cuttings, which well secured to their supports, survived the passage of several recent storms without flinching. Generally speaking, after a critical acclimation period of approximately two weeks, the survival rate is 100%. Beforehand, the Réserve carefully selected samples of coral - Acropora sp. and more specifically «staghorn» (Acropora cervicornis) and «elkhorn» (Acropora palmata) - at several sites to ensure good genetic diversity and favorite the...+ infos

Sargassum seaweed… a big subject of conversation these days, for which the Collectivity of Saint Martin knows it must find a sustainable solution. In October 21, 2015, the Réserve Naturelle, which called for meetings all of concerned agencies -the prefecture, the Collectivity, and also the Regional Health Agency (ARS), due to health risks linked to the emission of H2S gas - organized the formation of “green brigades” to find the best solution to treat these mountains of algae that have been continually invading the windward coasts of Saint Martin. It is necessary to spread and dry the sargassum for three or four days so that it loses up to 80% of its volume, before...+ infos

Just this once, the rangers from the Réserve Naturelle intentionally set a fire on the island of Pinel,
with special authorization from the prefecture. The fire was necessary to burn the excess vegetation collected after the passage of hurricane Gonzalo in October 2014, as the debris was too massive – around 100 cubic meters – to allow natural deterioration. With firemen at hand, and help from local restaurateurs, this impressive monticule was reduced to ashes.+ infos

Environmental Communication And Education

L’étang de Chevrise vu du ciel | Aerial view of Chevrise Pond

Good news for bird lovers! Thanks to revenue raised from parking at the site, the Conservatoire du Littoral and the Réserve Naturelle have started construction of a fourth observatory, which is located near the parking lot for the Mont Vernon residence. By the end of the year, it will be possible to enjoy observing the aqua-fauna that visits the Etang de Chevrise. This pond holds the title for “best bird watching» in terms of sheer numbers, as one can observe more than 1,000 birds in just 15 minutes! It will be interesting to see the new architecture for an area large enough to hold an entire class. Thanks to the four observatories - at the Etang de la Barrière in Cul-de...+ infos

Better Means For Better Missions

Ashley Daniel en patrouille en mer avec son collègue Steeve Ruillet | Ashley Daniel patrolling at sea with her colleague, Steeve Ruillet

The Réserve’s team of three wardens has been reinforced with the arrival of 20 yearold Ashley Daniel, hired under a program for young workers on July 1, 2015, with a renewable contract. Ashley applied to work at the Réserve Naturelle after getting her high school diploma, since she likes working with animals, with nature, and in the outdoors. “I enjoy being part of the staff at the Réserve, and the way everyone works together is really great. I have learned a lot of new things, such as patrolling at sea, and I adore navigation,” she tells us. We hope that Ashley continues to deepen her knowledge through her future experiences and training.

The...+ infos
Le forum régional des gestionnaires d’aires marines protégées | The regional forum for the protection of marine areas

On June 25 and 26, 2015, the top managers of protected marine zones in the French Antilles met at the Hotel Mercure with one goal in mind: to keep moving forward in the right direction. The Réserve Naturelle of Saint Martin was represented in force, along with the Conservatoire du Littoral, the Environmental Agency of Saint Barth, the Parc National de Guadeloupe, the AGOA sanctuary, and the Environmental Agencies (DEAL) from Martinique and Guadeloupe. The goal of this regional forum, derived from a similar national forum, was to get all of the major players in this sector in contact so that they can share their experiences and their knowledge, and pool their information...+ infos

L’étang de la Barrière | The Barrière pond

The Conservatoire, which owns two pieces of land
that are needed by the Collectivity for the construction of the new Quartier d’Orléans water treatment plant (STEP), has proposed exchanging part of this land for a natural site located along the banks of the Etang de la Barrière in Cul-de-Sac, that belongs to the Collectivity. The exchange is a win-win proposition: the future STEP, designed to treat the wastewater of 18,000 residents, needs the largest possible tract of land; and the Conservatoire would be able to have jurisdiction for the banks of the pond. This solution, while totally logical, is not possible today at any of the salt ponds, as the property of the...+ infos

Reinforcement On A Regional

On October 22, 2014, French environmental minister Ségolène Royal, and overseas minister George Pau-Langevin, during their official visit to Guadeloupe, presided over the installation of a management council for the Agoa sanctuary for the protection of marine mammals in the French Antilles. On May 21, 2015, this board held its first meeting at the prefecture in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Its 53 members elected Yvon Combes to the post of president, for a term of three years. Currently first vice president for the association of mayors in Guadeloupe, Yvon Combes has spent his entire professional career working for the National Forestry Office and was instrumental in...+ infos

© Agence des aires marines protégées

The REMMOA program - whose initials represent the French for «census of marine mammals and other pelagic species by aerial observation»- was launched in the Antilles in 2008, by the Agency for Protected Marine Areas. It continued in 2016 for a six-weeks, between August and October. The goal of this national program is to improve knowledge about certain species, such as marine mammals and birds, rays, sharks, and marine turtles, in order to reinforce their protection. Following the end of the first phase of the project, in which data was collected, the second phase will take place in the various marine zones covered by REMMOA - Martinique, Dominique, Guadeloupe, Saint...+ infos

As part of a videoconference, Yvon Combes, president of the management council for Agoa in Guadeloupe; Amandine Eynaudi, representative of the Agoa sanctuary for the Agency of Protected Marine Areas in Guadeloupe, and Stéphane Jérémie, president of the association, Sepanmar, in Martinique, were able to exchange ideas with Ramona Connor, vice president of the Agoa management council, Romain Renoux, correspondent for Agoa in Saint Martin, and Stéphane Mazurier, member of the board and a boat rental company owner, who were together at the prefecture of Saint Martin on September 25, 2015. The goal was to go over the cooperative activities led by Agoa in the past, as well as...+ infos

OKOTCF : les participants

The government of Gibraltar invited the overseas British territories from around the world to meet on July 9-15, 2015 for the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF).This event, which was last held in 2009 in the Cayman Islands, saw the participation of managers of protected British areas in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the North and South Atlantic, and the Caribbean basin. These territories have access to the European project BEST, through which the European Commission diffuses indispensable information for selecting and financing the “best” projects for the conservation of ultramarine biodiversity. Romain Renoux, responsible for project BEST...+ infos

Romain Renoux participated in Green Week 2015, the largest annual event on European environmental policy, which took place in Brussels on June 3-5, 2015, on the theme of “nature and biodiversity ». Responsible for project BEST for the 15 European territories of the Caribbean, as part of the European cooperation division of the Réserve Naturelle, Romain Renoux made a progress report on the state of his work, as did his counterparts from all across Europe.+ infos

© Julien Chalifour

The European Commission has launched BEST 2.0 and has reinforced its support for the protection of ultramarine biodiversity by offering new possibilities for financing to Overseas Countries and Territories (PTOM). In the Caribbean, this is good news for Saint Barthélemy, the five British Territories, and the six Dutch territories, as there is now 6 M€ available over a period of five years. Studies are underway for such Outermost Regions (ORs) as Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Martin in the Caribbean to benefit from a similar initiative. Stay tuned… Of course, these RUP’s already have access to European funds, if their politicians consider protection of their...+ infos

L’équipe de BEST a rencontré la Martinique The BEST team has met with Martinique

The consultations led by Romain Renoux and Amandine Vaslet are continuing throughout the Caribbean. After Saint Barthélemy, Guadeloupe, the six Dutch islands, and Anguilla, the project BEST team worked with local representatives in Martinique, the British Virgin Islands, and Saint Martin. The goal is to meet the largest possible group of those active in the protection of the natural environment, present project BEST to them and gather their reactions and their projects for biodiversity conservation. Even is the issues are different, the methodology remains the same. The goal is to define various priorities, especially taking into consideration endangered and endemic...+ infos


Nicolas Maslach

- Nicolas Maslach

Directeur et Conservateur de la RNN et représentant du Conservatoire du littoral

Romain Renoux

- Romain Renoux

Pôle "Coopération régionale et animation pédagogique"

Franck Roncuzzi

- Franck Roncuzzi

Responsable du pôle "Police de la Nature, administration et logistique" :
commissionnements faune / flore, circulation des véhicules terrestres à moteur

Julien Chalifour

- Julien Chalifour

Pôle "Missions et suivis scientifiques"

Christophe Joe

- Christophe Joe

Pôle "Police de la Nature et sensibilisation" :
commissionnement Conservatoire du littoral

Steeve Ruillet

- "Steeve Ruillet

Pôle "Police de la Nature et sensibilisation" :
commissionnements réserve naturelle terrestre, réserve naturelle marine, loi sur l’eau et Conservatoire du littoral

Amandine Vaslet

-Amandine Vaslet

Chargée de mission CAR-SPAW/ RNSM "
Projet Européen BEST"

Olivier Raynaud

Olivier Raynaud

Chargé de mission Foncier et Aménagement pour Saint Martin et Saint Barthélémy
Responsable d’antenne du Conservatoire du Littoral

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