Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 53/2 | 2016 | 49-68

  The Camargue, confluence of the European migratory flyways of the Eurasian Crane Grus grus
Alain Salvi

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Article summary

For several decades populations of Common Cranes showed a impressive development in Europe both on the demographic plan and in terms of migration patterns. More recently new wintering areas have been colonized as the Camargue, outside the big traditional migration routes of Cranes. Data and flight corridors analysis shows that it has become a convergence area between the western and the central European flyways. The first one leads the birds from the North along the valleys of the Rhine and the Rhône, and is supposed to drive the Cranes toward Catalonia using a newly created route close to theGulf of Lion, and only passing by the Camargue with a stopover or not. The second leads the Cranes by Austria, along the Alps, crossing Italy to the south and Germany to the North in the Camargue where they will spend the entire winter. This increasing number of Cranes wintering in the Camargue coincides with a simultaneous dramatic decrease in North Africa, particularly in Algeria due to negative changes of habitat conditions. This evolution is also part of an overall shift of the wintering range of the species to the north, across the entire Palearctic. In an extreme scenario stimulated among others by global warming, the continuation of this trend could result in the end of the wintering of Cranes in North Africa. Furthermore the new European wintering areas will need specific conservation strategies.


  • Alain Salvi
    Université de Lorraine, IUT Génie biologique,
    espace Cormontaigne – 57970 Yutz – France
    Conservatoire d’espaces naturels de Lorraine
    3, rue Robert Schuman – 57400 Sarrebourg

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