Lilleau des Niges History

16th to 19th century : the marshes were gradually formed following the construction of a man-made dyke on the site which was to later become the Nature Reserve.

1973 : classification of the Fier d’Ars Bay as a maritime reserve.  Hunting is now prohibited.

1976 : sees the end of salt production on the marshes, later to become the Natural Reserve.

1980 : publication of the decree announcing the founding of the Natural Reserve of Lilleau des Niges in the official journal.

1980 : the state appoints the LPO and the ASSIP (Association de sauvegarde des sites des Portes-en-Ré) in charge of managing the project.

1982 : first purchase of land on the reserve by the CEL (Conservatoire de l’Espace Littoral)  (9.7 hectares of marshland).

1983-1985 : renovation work starts on the hydraulics system and the construction of a work hut.

1987-2015 : maintenance of the grounds is ensured by the acquisition of a flock of Scottish blackface sheep.

1993 : the first plans are drawn up for the management of the Lilleau des Niges Natural Reserve.

2000 : Maison du Fier is opened to the public.

2001 : the first cartographic survey is made of the wildlife inhabiting the Nature Reserve.

2010 : a ringing programme for the 4 species of gulls begins.

2016 : 13 Red-haired Godwits and 19 Curlews  are fitted with GPS tags by LienS to study the migratory patterns and winter survival strategies of these sea birds.

2019 : launch of the  Life Natur’Adapt programme. The Nature Reserve at Lilleau des Niges becomes one of the pilot sites.  Their mission is to adapt existing measures to protect the natural environment from challenges imposed by climatic change.

2019-2020 : a new management plan is drawn up.

2020 : Lilleau des Niges Nature Reserve celebrates its 40th Birthday.

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