Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

A key partnership in Martinique for the creation of an ecological corridor

At the end of November 2020, the Regional Natural Park of Martinique and the Galion farm (EAG) jointly committed to the creation of an ecological corridor favorable to the White breasted thrasher on the Caravelle peninsula.

EAG plot of land © Nancy JACQUELIN / PNRM

Reconciling agricultural activities and the conservation of an endemic and protected bird species

The EAG now covers most of the agricultural land on the Caravelle Peninsula. As such, it has land control of around 1,800 ha, including nearly 1,200 ha of useful agricultural area (UAA) and a few annexed wooded areas.

The activities practiced mainly concern the breeding of cattle and goats, as well as the cultivation of sugar cane. This commodity is mainly used to supply the famous Galion Factory, founded in the 1860s near the river of the same name.

It is currently the only sugar production unit in Martinique and continues the tradition. With urbanization, these human activities gradually lead to the fragmentation and loss of the habitat of the White-breasted Thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus), present in Martinique exclusively on the Caravelle Peninsula.

Wishing to implement the creation of ecological continuities adapted to the species, in close consultation with the agricultural profession, the PNRM requested the EAG to study the possibility of creating an ecological corridor on two of the agricultural plots of which it owns.

A bilateral partnership framework agreement was signed for this purpose, defining the respective commitments of the two parties for the implementation of this flagship action of the Life BIODIV’OM project in Martinique. This will help restore part of the habitat historically enjoyed by this bird.

This development will in particular make it possible to provide the species with improved reproduction conditions, so that it can progress in number and distribution in the territory. Ornithological monitoring is also planned in order to assess population trends in the Caravelle National Nature Reserve and outside.

This will help maintain biodiversity in an agricultural environment, since other native flora and fauna species will thus be able to colonize the space.

White-breasted thrasher © Pierre CROUZIER