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Terres australes françaises National natural reserve
Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Terres Australes Françaises

france

First Listed

2018

Area
672968.94km2

Why is it Green Listed?

Largest nature reserve in France (more than 2.2 million hectares), it brings together the archipelagos of Crozet and Kerguelen, and the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam. It is a land and sea protected area unique in size and rich in biodiversity.

The still almost intact biological heritage of the French oceanic islands is of considerable richness and importance. The pronounced endemism, the very strong trophic relationship between the marine and terrestrial domains, the extreme isolation and the remoteness of all sources of contamination make these sub-Antarctic islands original environments without equivalent. They are of exceptional interest for the conservation of biodiversity.

Site Attributes

WDPA ID

Size
672969.0km2

Designation(s)
National Nature Reserve

IUCN Category
Ia

Year Established
2006

Marine Protected Area
Coastal: Mix of Marine and Terrestrial

Marine Area
1,570

Area of no-take
None

Governance Type
Sub-national ministry or agency

Site Agency
Administration des Terres Australes françaises

Site Manager
Anne-Gaëlle VERDIER

Application
31/01/2017

EAGL Evaluation
25.09.2017

GL Committee Submission
20.10.2018

EAGL Chair
Jean-Philippe Siblet

ASI Reviewer
Nicolas Perthuisot

Site Summary

Largest nature reserve in France, brings together the archipelagos of Crozet and Kerguelen, and the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam. It is a land and sea protected area unique in size and rich in biodiversity. The still almost intact biological heritage of the French oceanic islands is of considerable biodiversity richness and ecological importance.

Major Site Values & Outcomes

The pronounced endemism, the very strong trophic relationship between the marine and terrestrial domains, the extreme isolation and the remoteness from all sources of contamination make these sub-Antarctic islands. They are of exceptional conservation interest for their pristine ecological value. Located near the polar front and the subtropical convergence, the waters are particularly rich in pelagic species (crustaceans, squid, fish) which themselves feed seabirds and pinnipeds (elephant seals, fur seals etc.). Many cetaceans are also present. Crozet and Kerguelen host a population of large blue whales, a species with a very poor conservation status. Orcas feeding and breeding in sub-Antarctic waters hunt young elephant seals and penguins along the coast. At the plant level, the French sub-Antarctic islands have 70 species of native vascular plants, including 24 species endemic to the sub-Antarctic region. Only an endemic tree, Phylica arborea, is present on the island of Amsterdam.

Considerable information is available, and was evaluated, to justify the good conservation of the site, whether through annual activity reports and monitoring programmes, as well as via the evaluation report of the first management plan (2011-2015) that was carried out in 2016. Scientific knowledge has been considerably enriched, notably thanks to the close collaboration with the scientific partners, and allows today to support the design and implementation of a relevant and effective management strategy.

Conservation Summary

  • No Site visit report: site visit exempted due to remote location of site – Reviewer approved this decision.
  • No COIs declared
  • EAGL consensus and vote: all in favour

EAGL statement:

The reserve is not inhabited, the threats come from the outside: invasive species, presence of bases for scientists, lawful or illegal fishing. The threats have been well assessed and the measures put in place to prevent them are relevant and well calibrated. The design of the reserve in three zonings with each clear and adapted rules allows both to preserve the wealth of the reserve and to take into account the unavoidable activities necessary for some such scientific research. There is rigorous “monitoring and evaluation”, supported by observations from the research; the results prove the effectiveness of the management of the reserve.

85% of the actions planned in the first management plan 2011-2015 were successfully undertaken. Essential actions for the long term are in place with a rigorous application including actions against invasive species by biosecurity measures at the base supply boat and at the level of these scientific bases. The link with the scientific world is constant, this reserve being a high place of scientific research. After examining the application of the National Nature Reserve of French Southern Territories, the EAGL welcomed the exemplary nature of this site. All standards are met or exceeded. On the basis of these elements, the members of the working group voted unanimously in favor of the inscription of the National Nature Reserve of French Southern Territories on the protected areas Green List.

Reviewer Statement:

  • Conformity of process: 
    • Self assessment 
    • Site visit program. In this case, because of the distance,it was accepted by reviewer that there was no site visit 
    • Report of audit 
    • Use of panorama and protected portal 
    • Stakeholder feed-back 
    • Action plan 
    • EAGL decision, discussion, vote 
    Verification of consistency of document dates 
    Verification of the independence of the EAGL evaluator / the candidate 
    Verification of good use of COMPASS Portal by EAGL 
    Verification of used of panorama and protected portal 
    First analysis done 05/07/2017 and final validation 20/10/2018
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