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Nature reserves on Noirmoutier Island

Müllembourg reserve on Noirmoutier

The Mullembourg reserve in NoirmoutierGained on the sea, the 48 hectares of the Müllembourg marshes are part of the huge Atlantic coastal marshes, and are also a shelter for numerous vegetable and animal species.

On the Grand Müllembourg, long years of abandonment created small islands protected from ground predators, which are propitious for some bird species, at the condition that sea water continues to circulate thanks to the hydraulic structures, bringing with itself numerous marine invertebrate. On the Petit Müllembourg, constituted of salt marshes which are still in activity, the same species live with the salt makers.

 In winter, these marshes are a big resting place at high tide for shorebirds, ducks and barnacles, which hibernate around the island.

 In Spring, some migrating birds which are coming back from Africa simply make a stopover there, whereas others such as the common shelduck, the common tern and the pied avocet take advantage of the raised earth mounds to hide their nestles.

The Müllembourg marshes (some parts being owned by the Coastline Conservatory) are managed by the LPO (Birds Protection League) since 1955, in close cooperation with the city of Noirmoutier en l'île. They are an exceptional environment to observe life in the marshes and on the mudflats, and also to discover the management of a sensitive natural environment.

 

The Polder de Sébastopol in BarbâtreThe Sebastopol Polder in Barbatre, Noirmoutier Island

The Sébastopol Polder is located in Barbâtre, at the entry of Noirmoutier island.

The polder is 4 km long, 600 m large and has an area of 133 hectares. It is a protected site that has been registered as a Regional Natural Reserve.

A lot of scientists and other nature lovers meet there because it is a privileged place to practise ornithological observation. Different bird species can be seen on the polder: we count more than 170 species. During the breeding period, the polder becomes the theatre of an incredible spectacle.

“Polder” means “land enclosed by dykes” in Dutch. A polder is a piece of agricultural land which is situated below sea level.

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