For one of the seminars organised by the Friends, on Tuesday 7 November at 6.30 in the evening, Thomas Galewski presented a talk to over 50 people in the auditorium of the Maison de la Vie Associative in Arles :
“Camargue avifauna: two centuries of change”
Summary of his talk:
The Camargue is acknowledged to be a site of international importance for migratory birds. Flamingos, herons, spoonbills, ducks, and cranes as well as raptors and a large number of passerines breed there or use it as a stopover during their migration between Europe and Africa. Its reputation does not date from today: the first works focusing on birds in the Camargue were published in the 18th century. My study of these texts and many others from the following two centuries reveal profound changes of the avifauna in the Rhone delta. Some species have disappeared over the years, and others have appeared, while many have seen their numbers evolve considerably. My work shows that these changes are not at all due to chance, but are rather the reflection of the profound upheavals in the landscapes that took place because of the economic development of the Camargue and the whole European continent.