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.

The marine mammals showed up

An Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) © AAMP – AGOA – K. Questel
An Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) © AAMP – AGOA – K. Questel

Despite the bad weather conditions between December 10th and 15th 2013, the last marine mammal scientific monitoring program organized by the AGOA sanctuary resulted in the observation of coastal bottlenose dolphins on Saba bank, two groups of about thirty Atlantic spotted dolphins, many of them juveniles, northwest of Anguilla and southwest of Saint-Martin, and even a whale shark, completely harmless, south of Saint-Martin. Several acoustic observations of sperm whales and humpback whales were recorded using a hydrophone and are currently being processed, as well as a large number of photographs. The aim is to pick out identity connections between the marine mammals of the Îles du Nord and those seen in Guadeloupe and Martinique. The Marine Protected Area Agency in collaboration with CAR-SPAW charted two catamarans for this mission, the first covered the waters of Saint-Martin, Saint-Bart and Anguilla, and the second was used in the Saba, Saint Eustatius and Sint Maarten zone. The managers of the marine protected areas of these islands participated in the monitoring, as well as representatives of CAR-SPAW and two eco-volunteers from Saint- Martin, that the Reserve thanks for their involvement. This annual mission programmed in the wet season, was the second one in 2013, the first one took place in spring, the dry season. One of the goals of the sanctuary is to improve knowledge on marine mammals in order to strengthen their protection. Six objectives were followed : assessment of the diversity of species, assessment of the abundance of marine mammals, their geographical breakdown and eventual identification of their migration routes, the description of ecological parameters (water depth, distance from the coast…), the development of cooperation between the islands and finally to build the knowledge of the managers.

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All articles from: Newsletter-19

Better Knowledge About Protected Areas And Protected Species

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