Green List

Marais d’Episy Nature Reserve
Espace Naturel Sensible (ENS) Marais d'Episy

First Listed



Why is it Green Listed?

Close to Fontainebleau, the remarkable nature of the site of Marais d’Episy, including the richness and originality of its flora, has been recognised since the late eighteenth century by scientists. The main value of the area is peat marsh. This natural habitat has become rare in Ile-de-France. This alkaline low marsh is exceptionally rich and recognised throughout the Ile-de-France.

Site Attributes



Biotope Protection Order

IUCN Category

Year Established

Marine Protected Area

Governance Type
Federal or national ministry or agency

Site Agency
Seine-et-Marne environnement

Site Manager


EAGL Evaluation

GL Committee Submission

EAGL Chair
Jean-Philippe Siblet

ASI Reviewer
Nicolas Perthuisot

Site Summary

Close to Fontainebleau, the remarkable nature of the site of Marais d’Episy, including the richness and originality of its flora, has been recognized since the late eighteenth century by scientists. The site belongs to the local authority. The main ecological value of the site is peat marshland – a natural habitat that has become rare in Ile-de-France. This alkaline low marsh is exceptionally rich and recognized throughout the Ile de France. This site was the subject of destruction (alluvial exploitation) and significant degradation (scrub and drying) in recent decades. In this context, a program to restore the entire marsh and its surroundings was initiated in 1998. This site is protected since 1982 and is included in the Natura 2000 site No. FR100801 ” basse vallée du Loing ” under the European Habitats Directive. It is also a Natural area of flora and fauna ecological interest (ZNIEFF), and some wooded areas on the periphery east and north of Marsh Episy are classified as Wooded areas Classified (EBC in French).

Major Site Values & Outcomes

The main characteristic of the site is peat swampland, an ecosystem that has become rare in Île-de-France, and of exceptional richness. Plant communities in it are rare and host many threatened and rare plant species (6 protected species, 1 very rare species, 21 rare species). The fauna is also rich including the Red-backed shrike, 42 species of Odonates, 10 uncommon species of Lepidoptera, presence of the bloody locust and the malaria locust, two rare and typical species of wetlands. Since restoration work commenced, both floral and faunal diversity has increased, including the discovery of new heritage species present and rediscovery of others. The restoration works are a real success from an ecological point of view and have the expected results (some long-vanished species have reappeared); and, with the installation of the new drainage structures at the outlet of the water body and the marsh, the hydraulic management is easier and the water levels in the marsh are satisfactory.

Conservation Summary

EAGL Summary Statement:

  • Since the restoration of the marsh, the Department continues to implement exemplary conservation management of the site. The conservation of this site is a departmental priority, with regard to ecological issues and political will. In 2017, the site was selected among the 10 sites of the department, sites known as “ambassadors”. In 2015, the study carried out as part of the DOCOB update demonstrated the good state of conservation of the site’s habitats and heritage species. At the end of the examination of the candidature of the sensitive natural area of “Marais d’Episy”, the members of the EAGL have welcomed the remarkable efforts carried out by the team of managers for the conservation of the values of the site and underlined the quality and completeness of the file. The standards are reached or exceeded. On the basis of these elements, the members of the working group unanimously voted in favor of re-registering the Sensitive Natural Area of “Marais d’Episy” on the IUCN Green List.

Reviewer Statement:

  • Verification of the conformity of the necessary documents (conformance of format and form).
  • Verification of consistency of document dates and COMPASS portal management
  • Verification of the independence of the EAGL evaluator from the candidate
  • Verification of the process of presentation of the results, and discussions between the members of the EAGL
  • Verification of the voting process (verification of quorum and different representative documents “pouvoir”)
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