The Life Défense Nature 2 Mil project kick-off seminar took place on 12 June 2013 at one of the project's four experimental sites, the Aspretto naval base. Despite the air-traffic control strike, around 40 people attended the event in these magnificent surroundings.
The first meeting of the Chambaran Camp Technical Committee took place on 7 February 2013 and was attended by around 20 people. This full-day event featured both meeting room discussions and field observation activities. The natural space managers and military personnel present covered a range of topics, including pyrotechnical risks, protected habitats across Europe and forest bats.
The sea wall at the Aspretto naval base (Ajaccio) is home to a breeding colony of Audouin's Gulls (about the site).
The first Life project operation took place on 9 April 2013, and involved theinstallation of a gate to limit access to the sea wall and create an undisturbed habitat for the birdsduring the breeding season. The Audouin's Gulls have now returned to the site from their winter habitats along the coastlines of Morocco, Senegal and the Mediterranean, and have begun their courtship rituals. The young birds will fly away in late June/early July.
Additional action will be taken to limit human disturbance at this vulnerable site. This will include the restoration of nesting spots for the birds, the erection of improved signage and the creation of an observation and assessment system including a webcam to monitor the colony remotely.
The first meeting of the Garrigues Camp Technical Committee took place on 19 February. It was attended by both civilian and military personnel involved in driving the project forward. It covered topics such as pyrotechnical risks, the pastoralism study and the site visitor number study. It also included a field observation trip, in which participants had the opportunity to see how the planned actions would play out in reality.