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Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine
Marais D'Episy

france

First Listed

2014

Area
0.51km2

Why is it Green Listed?

The marshes of the lower valleys of the Essonne and the Juine, located in the Department of Essonne, are part of a vast wetland area in the downstream portion of the Essonne and Juine rivers watersheds, which covers several hundred hectares (946 ha including 522 ha in Natura 2000).

The heritage character of some species and habitats in the marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and June is confirmed by the inscription of the latter on the annexes of the Habitats and birds directives. This inscription justified the definition of the Natura 2000 FR1100805 and FR1110102 sites. Ten habitats of community interest and several species of threatened birds across the continent (including the little bittern) contribute to the heritage value of the site and justify the existing perimeters of protection at the departmental, national and european levels.

Labeling under the IUCN green list is a source of immense pride and recognition which rewards the investment of all local players (associations, municipalities, departmental services, naturalists, etc.). This approach will also contribute to further increase our requirement for the management of these remarkable sites.

Marais des basses vallées de l'Essonne et de la Juine

Key Achievements

Conservation

  • Peats and wetlands restoration
  • Community species present on site
  • New Habitats of Community importance settled

Good governance

  • Strong implication of locally elected responsible for the management of the site with all stakeholders
  • Several NGOs are mobilized on the sites to conduct various monitorings

Community benefits

  • Nature preserved in a suburban environment (Ile de France)
  • Increasing number of visitors for recreational purpose
  • Increasing number of requests of neighbouring schoools for educational sessions on the fields

We are glad that efficient management and good state of conservation of 7 new French sites have been recognized by the Green List Program! I have no doubt they will constitute inspirational sources and new references for future applicants. Diversity and richness of habitats, species, governance systems and protection status of French Continental and Overseas territories are now well represented by those 22 Greenlisted sites. They will very soon be engaged in the creation of the Francophone Green List network and globally contribute to the international influence of the Green List.

Attaché emeritus of the French Natural Museum of Natural History and EAGL Chair France, Jean-Philippe SIBLET

Site Attributes

WDPA ID

Size
5.00km2

Designation(s)
Natural Sensitive Area

IUCN Category
IV - Habitat/Species Management Area

Year Established
1997

Marine Protected Area
No

Governance Type
Collaborative governance

Site Agency
Conseil Départemental de l'Essonne

Site Manager
Brigitte Vermillet

Application
11/07/2018

EAGL Evaluation
03/03/2020

GL Committee Submission
03/02/2021

EAGL Chair
Jean-Philippe SIBLET

ASI Reviewer
Mounia Essefiani

Site Summary

The marshes of the lower valleys of the Essonne and the Juine, located in the Department of Essonne, are part of a vast wetland area in the downstream portion of the Essonne and Juine rivers watersheds, which covers several hundred hectares (946 ha including 522 ha in Natura 2000).
The heritage character of some species and habitats in the marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and June is confirmed by the inscription of the latter on the annexes of the Habitats and birds directives. This inscription justified the definition of the Natura 2000 FR1100805 and FR1110102 sites. Ten habitats of community interest and several species of threatened birds across the continent (including the little bittern) contribute to the heritage value of the site and justify the existing perimeters of protection at the departmental, national and european levels.

NATURAL VALUES: Ixobrychus minutus
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Annual monitoring
No nesting pair Undesirable 1 nesting pair : Desirable Morte than 1 nesting pair : optimal
DESIRABLE
The populations of birds of community interest are maintained, even increasing. Only 2 pairs of Ixobrychus minutus have been observed in the Essonne Department. One of them is reproducing on our site. It is important to take into account that factors could affect those individuals during migration or wintering in their African locations, independently of our actions of management. It is the same problem for the following 2 species.
NATURAL VALUES: Milvus migrans
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Annual monitoring
No nesting pair Undesirable 3 nesting pairs : Desirable Morte than 3 nesting pairs : optimal
DESIRABLE
Population of birds of community interest are maintained, even increasing. Marshes of the lower Valleys of Essonne and Juine are the only locaions in the Ile de France region hosting those nesting species.
NATURAL VALUES: Pandion haliaetus
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Annual monitoring
No nesting pair Undesirable 1 nesting pair : Desirable 2 nesting pairs : optimal
DESIRABLE
The populations of birds of community interest are maintained, even increasing. Marshes of the lower Valleys of Essonne and Juine are the only locaions in the Ile de France region hosting those nesting species.
NATURAL VALUES: Cettia cetti, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Acrocephalus palustris, Emberiza schoeniclus, Alcedo atthis, …
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Implementation of STOC ringing monitoring on the Misery marsh since spring 2020. This national ringing program is developped and supervised by the National Museum of Natural History
Total number of captures and number of individuals per species : Descreasing number of individuals and species : Undesirable Stable : Desirable Increasing number of individuals and species : Optimal
DESIRABLE
First session initiated in 2020 will constitute the initial state to measure future trends. 188 captures have been reported so far on 21 species and is representative of local species distribution. In comparison with other national distribution patterns, it seems those numbers are in the high range for at least specific marshes species. Some of those species are migratory too and may be affected by external factors not dependant on the condition or management of the site.
NATURAL VALUES: 9 Habitats of Community importance (European Habitas Directive)
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Monitoring of sites
Number of heritage habitats decreasing : Undesirable Stable : Desirable Number of heritage habitats increasing : Optimal
DESIRABLE
Recent inventories (2019) revealed the presence of 9 habitats of Community importance, 4 of them for the first time since the elaboration of the first management document in 2009. . Those 9 habitats représent 41,1 % of the inventored area (397ha). A new inventory will be held in 5 years to measure state of conservation.
NATURAL VALUES: 3 Flora species in danger of extinction : Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, Hyoscyamus niger, Selinum carvifolia.
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Botanical follow-ups by departmental agents, design offices or the National Botanical Conservatory of the Paris Basin.
The numbers of monitored species are decreasing: undesirable. The numbers of species monitored are maintained: desirable. The numbers of species monitored are increasing: optimal.
DESIRABLE
Recent inventories will constitute the initial state to measure future trends.
ECOSYSTEM SERVICE VALUES: Mashes and wetlands functions
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Management and monitoring of the marshes and wetlands restoration. Observation of the maintenance of the emblematic species which occupy these different habitats, and of the establishment of new species. Improved hydrological functioning of marshes : Number of sites restored in accordance with ENS management plans and the Natura 2000 site objectives document.
Stable number of nesting sites of characteristic species : Desirable Increasing numer of nesting sites : Optimal Flood management is improved : Optimal Flood management stable : Undesirable
4 new habitats of Community interest have been identified. We can now see the annual nesting of osprey, black kite, little Bittern and anatidae. We also note the presence of many species of insects in areas subject to late mowing and in grazed areas (sheep + cattle). OPTIMAL Flood management was ensured thanks to the work carried out on the site, in particular during the bad weather of 2016. OPTIMAL
The restoration of the wetlands has made it possible to considerably improve the carrying capacity of species and habitats at stake on the site. Flood management is improved.
CULTURAL VALUES
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Public reception and recreational activities
More than 44,000 people were hosted at Domaine de Montauger in 2019. On the other ENS, there are no eco-meters. More than 2,000 people took part in nature events organized by the Departmental Council.
The number of visitors is constantly increasing.
The frequentation of the site by the public is a sign that it is fulfilling its role by offering a natural environment of quality, managed and not degraded by the activities carried out there. Majority of visits are take place on Montauger site (Maison de l'environnement), covering 15 ha in open access. On the other marshes, where ecological sensitivity is higher, public reception is very limited. Visitors are channeled in observatories located in the sites' vicinity to limit disturbance. Access to the core can only be allowed through guided sessions with a limited number of participants, supervised by departmental agents.
Communication : website, Facebook page, mobile phone applications
Number of downloads of the applications, number of consultations of Facebook page and website : Decreasing : Undesirable Stable : Good Increasing : Desirable
DESIRABLE
Increasing of public participation and visits on site and website can be a proof of their quality.
Environmental awareness of the public and schoolchildren at the Domaine de Montauger and the ENS
Number of shcolar and public animations organized on the site, and number of children and adults who attended : Decreasing number : Undesirable Stable : Good Increasing number : Very good
More than 2,200 children were able to benefit from nature activities on the departmental sites of the marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine.
Each year, more and more schools ask for activities to enable children to be made aware of the biodiversity of marshes.
Environmental awareness of the public and schoolchildren at the Domaine de Montauger and the ENS
Number of shcolar and public animations organized on the site, and number of children and adults who attended : Decreasing number : Undesirable Stable : Good Increasing number : Very good
More than 2,200 children were able to benefit from nature activities on the departmental sites of the marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine
Each year, more and more schools ask for activities to enable children to be made aware of the biodiversity of marshes.

Conservation Summary

Outcome of EAGL Vote on Site
Consensus

EAGL Summary
Pillar 1: Fair Governance The perimeter of the Natural Sensitive Area concerned by the application submitted by the Essonne department is the subject of appropriate governance. This area consists in the pre-emption area and sensitive natural areas already property of the Essonne department. There is a good agreement between the Departmental Council and the various structures involved on the site and local elected officials seem to be invested in preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the site. The Regional Environment Directorate is at the origin of the dynamics of creating protected spaces on the sector. Governance is therefore adapted to 2/3 of the territory of the green list candidate site, the last third being not yet owned by the department and therefore not subject to the requirements relating to Natural Sensitive Areas management. The EAGL considers that the Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine has achieved all the standards of Pillar 1 of the Green List.

Pillar 2: Robust Planning Several regulations are applied within these Natura Sensitive Areas: a President’s Order, a classified woodland classification, a Biotope Prefectural Protection Order, and a Natura 2000 site that covers more than half of the site. The proposed perimeter can be thought of as a core zone (proportion submitted to Natura 2000 status) included in a buffer zone (remains of the perimeter). With regard to management documents, they are being renewed and will be validated in the first quarter of 2020 for The Natura 2000 perimeter (DOCOB) and, at the end of 2020, for the global Natural Sensitive Areas management plan. On private property, there is no management document. The main threats have been identified and visitor attendance is regulated by sectors according to their sensitivity. The EAGL considers that the Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine has achieved all the standards of Pillar 2 of the Green List. However, the EAGL recommends that the pace of acquisition of private parcels be maintained or even accelerated, and that management plans be finalized in the process of renewal, and that the Green List indicators be explicitly included (first quarter 2020 for DOCOB and the end of 2020 for the whole sensitive areas management plan).

Pillar 3: Effective Management The marshes enable the maintenance of essential ecosystem services in terms of hydraulic regulation (flood) or access to nature with an important recreational role in a suburban environment. The ecological engineering operations carried out by the department ensure the maintenance and improvement of the ecological functions of these wetlands. The management of these sites benefits from secure financial resources based on the development tax levied by the department to manage its natural areas. With regard to threats, particularly invasive alien species, the manager is considering implementing an appropriate response with local partners (associations, scientists, local communities, etc.). In 2020, a day will be dedicated to invasive alien species to discuss practices that the manager could learn from. This project merged thanks to the nature observatory that is set up by the Essonne Department. A significant public awareness is being conducted on wetlands in marshes with adapted means of communication. Environmental education is also highly developed in the territory. Follow-up indicators will be defined in the management documents to be produced in 2020. The EAGL considers that the Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine has achieved all the standards of Pillar 3 of the Green List. The EAGL recommends the implementation of indicators to track the main values of the site.

Pillar 4: Successful Conservation With management and governance measures implemented, the marshes of the lower valleys of the June and Essonne are successfully conserved with the presence of heritage species and natural habitats of community interest. Many species surveys are carried out by the various partners of the department and coordinated by the Observatory and now require formal monitoring in the various management documents, with status indicators of habitats and populations. Moreover, even if an active policy of acquiring properties is carried out, a significant area of private plots remains in the proposed perimeter. However, this does not seem to prevent a good conservation of the natural and cultural values of the site as confirmed by the site’s visit. The EAGL considers that the Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine has achieved all the standards of Pillar 4 of the Green List.

Decision Following the review of the application of the Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine, the EAGL welcomed the remarkable efforts of the team of managers for the conservation of the values of the site and underlined the quality and completeness of the file. On the basis of these elements, the EAGL voted unanimously in favour of the inscription of the Marshes of the lower valleys of Essonne and Juine on the protected areas green list. The EAGL considers important to recommend the acceleration of private plots acquisition by the Essonne Department. A more precise and accurate map must be transmitted to the EAGL.

Reviewer Summary
The Reviewer confirms that the site’s GL process was conducted in line with the User Manual’s rules and procedures. A site visit took place on February 11 and the site visit schedule approved by the Reviewer prior to the Visit. The EAGL discussion on the site took place on March 3 in the presence of the Implementing partner, the site manager and staff and the mentor. The Reviewer attended remotely. For all candidate sites, the Implementing partner (IUCN France) on behalf of the French EAGL invites all site managers and mentors who are given each a 5-minute slot to present the site and answer any open questions from the EAGL. The Reviewer could observe that the site managers have a good understanding of the GL Standard and its objectives and have used it to improve the site’s governance and management. The presentations were then followed by the presentation of the EAGL member’s site visit report and by a deliberation (not in the presence of the site managers) on the site.All presentations, stakeholder surveys, and the site visit report were also shared with all EAGL members and the Reviewer prior to the meeting. The EAGL assessment and discussion were transparent, especially regarding some GL Indicators considered to be “partially reached”. At the end of the discussion, the EAGL voted in favour of the nomination of the site to the GL, and made some recommendations for these indicators since they considered that these conditions served to the continuous improvement of the site. This was transparently reported in by the EAGL in COMPASS. As some time has passed since the EAGL decision in March and the moment the Reviewer validates this process (June), the Reviewer recommends the EAGL to already enquire about any conditions that could have been already met at this stage by the site (for instance, for those conditions that could be met by the site by the first quarter 2020). This is however just a recommendation and not a condition to the submission of the Candidate to the GL Committee.

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