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Summary description of the projet

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Project title
LIFE ecological continuity, management of catchment area and associated patrimonial fauna



Project objectives
Globally plentiful, but over-exploited and polluted by human activities, water became a fragile resource both in quantity and quality. More than ever, good water management is a condition for a sustainable human development. Indeed, the rarefaction of species with cultural and environmental interests and the loss of biodiversity come from disturbances affecting rivers.


Protection and preservation of species which are reliable markers of the good status of rivers are conditions to water management. Therefore, three symbolic species, registered on the Habitat-Directives (92 / 43 / EEC), are targeted: Austropotamobius pallipes, Margaritifera margaritifera, and Unio crassus. Other species are also concerned: Lampetra planeri, Cottus gobio, or indirectly Salmo trutta fario.
These species are in strong decline and are very sensitive in front of physical modifications of the environment or towards the quality of waters


Natural Regional Park of Morvan piloted during 5 years the program natural LIFE "Headwater streams and faunistic heritage associated" (LIFE04NAT / FR / 000082). This program dealed with implementation and analysis of experimental technics of management, conservation and restoration of water quality for habitats and species connected to the headwater streams. The program led to confirm the major interest of the small streams in preserving water quantity and quality. It also allowed to sketch first reflections on biological continuity and blue weft notions, necessary to deepen within the framework of the environment Grenelle (Law N 2009-967 of August 3rd, 2009) and the Directive suits on the Water (2000 / 60 / CE).


Further to the extremely positive balance assessment of this program, the Natural Regional Park of Morvan wishes to submit a program in the continuity of the precedent to the European Union in September 2010. This project aims to apply skills acquired in the previous LIFE Headwater streams programme (LIFE04NAT / FR / 000082), at the scale of the catchment area, by concentrating actions to estimate their efficiency. The main theme will concern the ecological continuity, particularly the management of the thresholds of mills and ponds. Steering committees were organized to identify the stakeholders, the territories and the actions.


The regions of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté lead, for several years operations of management and raising awareness on aquatic environments. They are concerned by the same problems on a wide part of their territory.


Then concerned by the same problems on a wide part of their territory, the regions of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté lead, for several years operations of management and raising awareness on aquatic environments. An interregional collaboration on the previous LIFE project allowed to refine the knowledge and to strengthen administrator's managers network of the water. The Natural Regional Park of Ballon des Vosges is also interested in the objectives of this initiative, and wished to become a beneficiary associated of the present project.
Then, according to the European criteria of eligibility, the LIFE sites are chosen among zones proposed to the Natura 2000 network. It was decided to favour large sites to work on the scale of the catchment area and of the massif, with head streams and streams downstream. Also the limitation of the number of sites will allow to concentrate the actions and to estimate their impacts on the target species. Consequently, four sites were retained:
• One site on the Cure valley
• Two sites on the Cousin valley
• The site of Plateau des mille étangs.


Finally the aims of this program is to apply the skills acquired in the previous LIFE (LIFE04NAT / FR / 000082) recognized favourable for the target species. They will allow the implementation of technics and appropriate and profitable methods for the preservation of the target species and their habitats.


Besides applying already known principles, the actions will allow to put into practice, to examine, to estimate and to spread measures and methods. These actions which are in a certain degree new or little familiar could be implemented in similar circumstances. They concern two main themes: the ecological continuity and the management of ponds.



Actions and means involved
The actions are articulated around four main axes:
• Works of renaturation of degraded habitats: rehabilitation of the minor and major beds of streams, restoration of banks …
• Adaptation of agro-silvicultural practices: management of species of trees on banks, development of crossing, protection of the minor bed against the cattle…
• Abolition or arrangement of the works decreasing the connection on the main course and between streams.
• Conception of tools to informe, communicate and raise awareness for several public (administrators, locals, consumers, schools and elected representatives).



Menaces Actions Expected results
M1 : Change of the
habitat by the
A1, A2, A3, A4,
C1, C3, C4, C5,
C7, D2, D3, D4,
D5, D6, D7, D8,
Renaturation of the degraded habitats: rehabilitation of 5 000 meters of stream.
Limit the impacts of forestry developments:
Construction of 16 sustainable river crossings.
Protect the natural riparian forest:
convertion of the conifer plantation on 10 kilometers of banks and destruction
of F. Japonica on 7 kilometers of banks.
Communicate and pass on acquired experiences.
M2 : Modification of
the thermal
regimes of streams
A1, A2, A3, A4,
C4, C6, D2, D3,
D4, D5, D6, D7,
D8, D9
Reduce the physico-chemical, especially thermal impact of ponds:
Arrangement of twenty ponds.
Rehabilitate 9 kilometers of riparian forest to eliminate reheating brought by the light.
Communicate and pass on acquired experiences.
M3 : Change of the
quality of the water
by the anthropological
A1, A2, A3, A4,
C1, C3, C6, C7,
D2, D3, D4, D5,
D6, D7, D8, D9
Eliminate pollutions due to the crossings of stream by the agricultural and forest machines:
development of 30 ford crossing and 16 long-lasting crossings.
Limit the ponds impacts: creation of 4 sedimentation tank.
Communicate and pass on acquired experiences.
M4 : Presence of
obstacles in the bed
of the stream
A1, A2, A3, A4,
C2, C3, D2, D3,
D4, D5, D6, D7,
D8, D9
Arrangement of insurmountables obstacles for the aquatic fauna so as to restore the access
to reproduction zones or to connect isolated populations: replacement of 20 ducted passages
and installation of 5 wooden bridges.
Restore the ecological continuity:
arrangement of 7 mills thresholds, suppression of 2 ponds, realization of 5 diversion works
and 2 ponds bypassing.
M5 : Pathology and
competition led by
allocthonous species
A2, C8, D2, D3,
D4, D5, D6, D7,
D8, D9
Fight effectively against the allocthonous species to check the progress of the exotic species.
Communicate and pass on acquired experiences.


The project will mobilize a consequent technical team to bring a successful conclusion to all the actions. Funding of these actions is insured for four years by:
• The European Community
• The Ministère de l'Ecologie, de l'Energie, du Développement Durable et de la mer
• The Agence de l’eau Seine-Normandie
• The Agence de l’eau Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse
• The Conseil Régional de Bourgogne
• The Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté
• The Parc naturel régional du Morvan
• The Parc naturel régional du Ballon des Vosges


Expected results (outputs and quantified achievements):
The preparatory studies will allow to start the concrete preservation actions, in particular by the creation of two plans of management and an action plan. The concrete preservation actions will allow to restore the hydromorphology of 5 000 m of stream, to transform 25 small obstacles and 7 big obstacles to the ecological continuity, to restore the ripisylve by installing 10,2 km of fences, 30 fordings or watering place and 4,5 km of plantation, by replacing 20 ha of conifer, to reduce the diffuse pollutions by convert 15 ponds and by creating 16 long-lasting crossings, then to control the invasive exotic species by eliminating 7 km of Renouée du Japon and by controlling the allocthonous populations of crawfishes.


Through the different actions, main objective is an increase of the populations of Austropotamobius pallipes, Margaritifera margaritifera, Unio Crassus, Lampetra planeri, Cottus gobio. Besides protecting these species in important decline, a natural recolonisation will prove the natural habitat rehabilitation. These results will facilitate indirectly the development of the whole fauna and aquatic flora in the streams.


At the end of the program, we will also benefit from a panel of experiments that can be reproduced locally or on the other sites of the European Natura 2000 network. The efficiency of "good practices" actions will be proved on the scale of the catchment area and demonstrations actions concerning the management of mills thresholds and ponds will be illustrated.


So the concrete preservation actions will be highlighted by the creation of a Web site, 3 small panels, 5 panels, a 16 pages notebook, 2 posters, 2 leaflet, a French/English technical guide, an educational route, a layman’s report, a comic strip, an itinerant exhibition, a movie, meetings with the owners, the elected representatives and the local population, school animations, a final colloquium, an after LIFE preservation plan and networking with the other LIFE + projects.


This program will allow to sensitize local actors and general public, rather than isolated actions. It will contribute to increase collective awareness of fragility and major ecological and hydrological roles of aquatic systems.



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