Tour du Valat - l'info des zones humides
  Newsletter #19 - April 2015  
  The Mediterranean Wetlands Newsletter  
  Thematic Issue : The Tour du Valat’s involvement in the conservation of the Greater Flamingo in the Camargue    

A tribute to Alan Johnson (1941-2014) and breeding prospects for the Greater Flamingo

A exemplary conservation programme

Alan Johnson passed away on the evening of Christmas Day 2014 in the Camargue, where he had lived for decades. During the 1970s, Alan initiated a research and conservation programme for the Greater Flamingo, which has now become one of the most remarkable long-term studies of waterbirds. Most of what we know about the biology of the species has been derived, directly or indirectly, from the banding programme that he set up in the Camargue.

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Questions for...
Frank Cézilly 

Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Burgundy (France)

What were your personal and professional ties with Alan?


I met Alan back in the summer of 1983, when I arrived at the age of 20 as a young trainee at the Tour du Valat. My ornithological knowledge at that time was pretty limited, whereas Alan, as “Mr Flamingo”, was a star member of the birding community.

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Go further

Some links

More information about Greater Flamingos on the Tour du Valat website

  News Top  

Very festive World Wetlands Day at the Tour du Valat in 2015

World Wetlands Day, the annual celebration of the signing of the Ramsar Convention for the protection of wetlands on February 2nd 1971 in Iran, was particularly festive at the Tour du Valat this year.

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Rediscovery of a rare species at the Tour du Valat

In June 2014, our monitoring of the temporary marshes of the Tour du Valat Regional Natural Reserve enabled us to discover a rare species near one of these ponds, Bird's-foot Clover, which was considered to have disappeared from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) Region.

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News from the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement's Technical Support Unit

The African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement's (AEWA) African Initiative Technical Support Unit (TSU), based at the Tour du Valat, and co-managed by the Tour du Valat and the French National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) continued its support operations for its African partners in recent months.

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Publication of the book "Les maladies infectieuses"

Marion Vittecoq, Health Ecology Researcher at the Tour du Valat, was chief editor of the book Les maladies infectieuses (Infectious Diseases) which has just been published by De Boeck.

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Ban of lead shot: proven positive consequences

A study has just been published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, confirming the positive effects of banning lead shot to hunt in the Camargue from 1994.

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  Initiatives Top  

The Tour du Valat joins forces with the Duck Specialist Group

The fourth Pan-European Duck Symposium took place from 7 to 11 April, 2015 in Hanko, Finland. Every three years, it brings together researchers and students working on duck research. The Tour du Valat was well represented at this international event,

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Positive results of the first phase of the support programme for the IWC in the Mediterranean region

The partners of the Medwaterbirds network marked a major step in Tunis in late November 2014, when they met up to assess the first phase of the International Waterbirds Census (IWC) programme in North Africa.

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  Publications Top  

Some of our latest publications includes


A comparison of wintering duck numbers among European rice production areas with contrasting flooding regimes

Authors: Pernollet, C., Guelmami, A., Green, A., Curco Masip, A., Dies, B., Bogliani, G. Tesio, F., Brogi, A. Gauthier-Clerc, M. Guillemain, M.


Animal behaviour and cancer

Authors: Vittecoq, M., Ducasse, H., Arnal, A., Moller, A.P., Ujvari, B., Missé, D., Bernex, F., Pirot, N., Lemberger, K., Abadie, J., Labrut, S., Bonhomme, F., Renaud, F., Roche, B., Thomas, F.


Find all our current publications

  Upcoming events Top  

13 - 19

May 2015

Camargue (France)


Camargue Festival

7th instance of the Camargue and Rhone Delta Festival


20 - 24

May 2015



Nature Week

2015 instance of the Nature Week from 20 to 24 May all over France


10 - 12

June 2015

Dijon (France)


National Biodiversity Days

5th National Biodiversity Days from 10 to 12 June


Tour du Valat

Research Centre for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands

Le Sambuc 13200 ARLES - Ph: + 33 (0)4 90 97 20 13 -

Editorial Committee :

Coralie Hermeloup, Jean Jalbert and Gwenael Wasse

Contact :



Have contributed to this issue: Béchet, A., Cézilly, F., Champagnon, J., Cohez, D., Dami, L., Defos du Rau, P., Deschamps, C., Grillas, P., Guillemain, M., Mondain-Monval, J.-Y., Olivier, A., Thibault, M., Vittecoq, M. Yavercovski, N. Photo credits: © H. Azafzaf, © D. Cohez / Tour du Valat,  © T. Galewski, © H. Hôte / Agence Caméléon,  © J. Jalbert, , © J.-Y. Mondain-Monval - P. Defos du Rau / ONCFS.