A pike spawning ground restored in Jarnac !

A pike spawning ground restored in Jarnac !

Habitats

01

FEBRUARY 2022

Within the framework of the LIFE VISON program, a pike spawning ground (a heritage species of our rivers) was restored at the end of 2021, thus allowing the restoration of the functionality of wetlands favorable to the European Mink. This operation was carried out with the technical assistance of the Charente Fishing Federation.

What is a spawning ground?

The spawning ground is the reproduction area of the pike. This fish lays its eggs in winter in flooded meadows with a shallow water depth and rich herbaceous vegetation.

The eggs are then fertilized by the male and, after hatching, the larvae remain attached to the vegetation by a sucker. Once they are able to swim, they will stay in shallow areas (nurseries) to develop. In May, the pikelets reach about ten centimeters. They then return to the watercourse but remain in the calm zones.

The plots must therefore remain in water long enough for the young pike to reach the main stream.

Cycle biologique du brochet

Cycle biologique du brochet

 

Why restore a spawning ground in the framework of LIFE VISON?

These shallow water habitats, with dense vegetation, are prime locations for biodiversity. Other species of fish, amphibians and aquatic insects will benefit from this restoration. They will provide a food source for the European Mink, which feeds equally on amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds.

 

Restoration work on the Jarnac spawning ground

To be functional, the spawning ground must meet a number of criteria:

  • – Good stream connectivity to allow access to the spawning site and egress to the main stream for pike
  • – Calm and shallow water, ideally between 20 cm and 1 m deep
  • – A substantially constant water level for at least 40 consecutive days
  • – The presence of vegetation for egg-laying but also as a shelter and hiding place to escape from predators
  • – An open environment that benefits from sufficient sunlight, which favors rapid warming of the water (between 6 and 12°C).

The commune of Jarnac, having signed an agreement with the LPO to restore habitats favorable to the European mink, a communal parcel was restored in November 2021 to recreate a spawning area. The work began with removal of Jussie, an invasive exotic species introduced by man, to limit the development of this species which is to the detriment of local plants, beneficial to pike, such as sedges or wisteria. In a second step, the spawning area was reprofiled through earthworks to lower the bottom shoreline in order to increase the duration of submergence and allow the flooding of the area during the entire pike reproduction period (from spawning to pike release).

Milieu avant (photo du haut) et après (photo du bas) l’arrachage de la Jussie

Environment before (top photo) and after (bottom photo) the removal of the primrose willow

Contact

COORDINATRICE DU PROJET LIFE VISON Ingrid Marchand, TÉLÉPHONE : +33 5 46 82 12 45 ADRESSE : LPO – Les Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos – CS 90263 – 17305 Rochefort

Restoration of wet meadows in Charente !

Restoration of wet meadows in Charente !

Habitats

14

AUGUST 2021

Restoration work on tall grass wetlands, habitats suitable for European mink, began in the Charente in August 2021. The municipality of Marsac wished to commit itself to the conservation of the most endangered small carnivore in Europe.

DEfforts to improve the habitat of the European mink

The commune of Marsac is committed to the conservation of the European mink through the signature of an agreement to restore habitats favorable to the species. Two communal plots have just been restored to recreate wetlands. The work, financed by the LIFE VISON program, consisted in digging depressions and creating pools in the lowest points.

The objective is to transform these former agricultural plots into wet meadows with tall grasses, rare habitats sheltering an abundant fauna and flora. These environments are very appreciated by the European mink because they find a real reserve of food and can hunt their prey in the shelter of the dense vegetation or rest during the day.

The attractiveness of the environment is reinforced by the creation of ponds in which a whole range of species such as dragonflies, toads, frogs etc. will settle.

Marsac Restauration parcelle Life Vison

© Antoine Meunier / LPO / LIFE VISON

Vegetation in the process of settling…please be patient

Once the work is finished, the vision of the bare ground and the excavated areas can challenge or even sadden the walker. However, be reassured, this lunar landscape is very temporary. A little patience… The winter floods will act, filling in the depressions and ponds. In spring, the vegetation will wake up. Soon, the marsacois will see a beautiful mosaic of habitats develop before their eyes and a 5 star accommodation for the biodiversity!

For example, the photos below illustrate well the evolution of the environment after the creation of a pond (work carried out by the LPO outside the LIFE VISON program in the framework of a Natura 2000 contract).

The LIFE VISON program plans the creation of 20 hectares of these tall-grass wetlands (called megaphorbia, magnocariçaies and cladia). Similar work is underway in the Charente river basin with volunteer landowners who have signed an agreement with the LPO.

Contact

COORDINATRICE DU PROJET LIFE VISON Ingrid Marchand, TÉLÉPHONE : +33 5 46 82 12 45 ADRESSE : LPO – Les Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos – CS 90263 – 17305 Rochefort

New data thanks to radio-tracking campaings!

New data thanks to radio-tracking campaings!

Habitats

22

MARCH 2021

Since October 2020, four European mink are monitored by radio-tracking. These trackings aim to collect additional data on the ecology of the species: size and location of home ranges, spatial and temporal mobility, types of daytime roosts used according to the seasons, and for females, behavior during gestation and at the time of calving. The data collected to date are already rich in information.

Adult females with restricted living ranges

Since this autumn, adult females, Mellea on the Charente upstream of Angoulême, and Naïa in the Rochefort marshes remain confined to their home ranges of 2 to 3 linear kilometers, and do not seem to have been disturbed either by the historic floods of February, or by the beginning of the rutting period which marks the new breeding season. Monitoring in the coming weeks will be crucial to try to characterize the calving sites and their possible peculiarities compared to the daytime roosts located daily.

The adult male Tim is a fairly routine mink

The adult male Tim, well known to the teams by his numerous captures (13 in total), exploits to date nearly 600 ha of marsh on about 2.5 x 2.5 km, against nearly 1000 ha for his neighbor Popeye followed last spring (lettre info n°2). However, the rutting season may cause him to become more active in the next few days during his wanderings.

Relâché du vison TIM © Antoine Meunier / LPO / LIFE VISON

More than 120 km of waterways explored by the young male Gwenn

The young male Gwenn, who was in the dispersal period at the time of his capture, shows a particularly vagabond spirit, since he has explored more than 120 km of waterways, visiting in turn not only the Charente between Vars and Mansle but also its tributaries the Auge, the Aume, the Bief and the Bonnieure as far as Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure, some of them as far as the head of the catchment area as on the Sauvage, tributary of the Auge.

These unpublished data, on tributaries without any known data on the species, show once again the great capacity of movement of the individuals, already noted during the monitoring of Badu(lettre info n°2), and the absolute necessity to take into account very large territories for the implementation of conservation measures.

Carte des suivis télémétriques en Charente © LPO / LIFE VISON

Contact

COORDINATRICE DU PROJET LIFE VISON Ingrid Marchand, TÉLÉPHONE : +33 5 46 82 12 45 ADRESSE : LPO – Les Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos – CS 90263 – 17305 Rochefort

They are mobilizing in favor of the European mink!

They are mobilizing in favor of the European mink!

Habitats

17

JULY 2020

In order to preserve habitats favorable to the European mink and associated species, private and public landowners voluntarily engage in the LIFE VISON program!

Operation “Zones Refuges”!

For a minimum period of 6 years and in close collaboration with the LPO, the owners (private or public) set up refuge areas on all or part of their parcels located within theLIFE VISON perimeter of action.

As signatories of the “Refuge Zone” agreement, they are committed to preserving and perpetuating areas favorable to the resting, feeding and reproduction of the European mink. They will constitute “relay” zones, along the Charente River and its tributaries (Boutonne, Coran, etc.), favourable to the species during its movements and will thus facilitate the recolonisation of new environments.

In exchange, landowners and communities benefit from in-depth knowledge of the biodiversity in their refuge area(s), advices, and an information and public awareness panel.

Expertise naturaliste sur une Zone refuge

Expertise naturaliste sur une Zone refuge © A. Meunier/ LPO/LIFE VISON

 

Objective “40 refuge areas” reached!

Since the beginning of the project, more than 20 private owners, companies and communities have mobilized in the process allowing the preservation of about 20 hectares of favorable habitats in Charente and Charente-Maritime! Thanks to them and their mobilization more than 40 refuge areas have been created within the perimeter of action of the LIFE VISON program !

Carte des Zones Refuge

Nous tenons à les remercier pour leur engagement en faveur de la préservation du Vison d’Europe et des espèces associées !

Let’s continue our efforts!

The “Zones Refuges” operation does not stop for all! Currently, new landowners, concerned about the future of the European mink, associated species and their habitats, continue to join the initiative…. The initial objective being to create a string of refuge areas along the river Charente and its tributaries, why not continuing?

You too can act in favour of the European mink! Contact the LIFE VISON referents by going to theinteractive map.

 

Contact

COORDINATRICE DU PROJET LIFE VISON Ingrid Marchand, TÉLÉPHONE : +33 5 46 82 12 45 ADRESSE : LPO – Les Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos – CS 90263 – 17305 Rochefort

First telemetric monitoring of European mink as part of LIFE VISON

First telemetric monitoring of European mink as part of LIFE VISON

Habitats

3
MARCH 2020
2020 has started off well! Two European mink, already known to LIFE VISON teams, were able to be equipped with a radio tracking transmitter. The objective? Follow these individuals in order to locate their daily resting places and their hunting sites.

« Popeye » and « Badu », the first European minks of the LIFE VISON followed by radio tracking

The capture campaigns launched in January and February in the two identified population sectors, allowed the recapture of four male mink already marked.

Two of them, in particularly good condition, were chosen to be equipped with a transmitter: the mink Popeye (marked in March 2019) in the Rochefort marshes, and the mink Badu (marked in November 2018) on the Charente valley upstream of Angoulême. The data collected by telemetry will make it possible to know the size of their home ranges, to precisely characterize the daytime roosts used for their rest, but also to map the environments exploited during the hunting phases thanks to night activity monitoring.

 

First results rich in lessons

The daily monitoring undertaken for several weeks shows that Popeye and Badu are very active during this rutting period, and regularly travel great distances, giving our teams a hard time. For example, Badu, whose home range already extends for almost 25 km along the Charente river, covers it entirely in 2 to 3 days, with some stages of ten kilometers between two consecutive lodgings. These initial data confirm the need to protect and secure large areas for the benefit of the species.

Télémétrie VHF

 

Contact

LIFE VISON PROJECT COORDINATOR Ingrid Marchand Phone : +33 5 46 82 12 45 ADDRESS : LPO – Les Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos – CS 90263 – 17305 Rochefort

European Mink on a new sector!

European Mink on a new sector!

Habitats

23
DECEMBER 2019
The various follow-ups undertaken as part of the LIFE VISON program have borne fruit in a new sector! The presence of a European Mink has thus been highlighted on the Bramerit, in the Natura 2000 sector, Middle Valley of the Charente site.

A European Mink detected in the Middle Charente Valley, after several unsuccessful inventory campaigns

Since the start of the project in September 2017, this is the first time that a European Mink has been detected in the Middle Charente Valley. However, direct (capture) and indirect detection campaigns (photo traps and fingerprint tunnels) had already been deployed in the area, but without success. This new data acquired after several unsuccessful campaigns underscores the difficulty of inventorying this particularly discreet little carnivore, and the need to repeat field campaigns to identify the different sectors still present.

vison d'Europe ©M.Berroneau

European Mink (© M.Berroneau)

 

Detection of the species after 5 years without data!

This news is all the more gratifying since no European mink data had been recorded on the Bramerit since 2014. More extensive campaigns will be launched in the first quarter of 2020 to clarify the presence of the species and characterize the potential population core.

Bramerit, tributary of the Charente

Bramerit, tributary of the Charente

Contact

LIFE VISON PROJECT COORDINATOR Ingrid Marchand Phone : +33 5 46 82 12 45 ADDRESS : LPO – Les Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos – CS 90263 – 17305 Rochefort