LIFE+ PETRELS - Halting the decline of endemic Petrels from Reunion Island: demonstration of large-scale innovative conservation actions

LIFE13 BIO/FR/000075

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Contact details:

Contact person: Paul FERRAND
Email: paul.ferrand@reunion-parcnational.fr

Project description:


Réunion Island hosts one of the most unique seabird communities in the world, including two endangered endemic petrels, the Barau's petrel (Pterodroma baraui) and the Mascarene black petrel (Pseudobulweria aterrima). These species are in dire need of emergency conservation measures. They already benefit from national action plans, but the implementation of conservation actions suffers from ecological, technical and financial constraints, resulting in conflicts between nature conservation and socio-economic development. France has the sixth highest proportion of its endemic species threatened at the European level, although these species are mainly located in overseas territories where conservation efforts need to be stepped up to fully implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy by 2020.


The overall objective of the LIFE PETRELS project is to stop the loss of Réunion's biodiversity by saving two endemic petrels from extinction. In order to overcome the technical and financial difficulties that hamper the adoption of appropriate conservation measures, demonstrative and innovative management strategies will be implemented. The aim is develop conservation tools that are adapted to the island’s urban context, in order to involve stakeholders in efforts to reduce threats to seabirds and to undertake conservation actions.

Expected results:

  • Reversal of the catastrophic trend of petrel populations in the Réunion National Park;
  • Development of appropriate conservation management techniques, including the identification of breeding colonies and artificial breeding;
  • Enhanced biological knowledge for both endemic petrel species;
  • Control of the spread of invasive species, especially rats and cats, in the remotest areas of the island;
  • Exchange and dissemination of the results to other nature conservation bodies;
  • Consultations with local stakeholders; and
  • Raised awareness of the need to protect these two species.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


endangered species‚  endemic species‚  island‚  nature conservation

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Parc national de La Réunion
Type of organisation Park-Reserve authority
Description Réunion National Park was established in 2007 as the national park of Réunion, an overseas department of France located in the western Indian Ocean region. The park's core mission is to safeguard the island's endemic species, including its rare seabirds. La Réunion has four times more endemic species than the Galapagos and the national park was designated a World Heritage Site in 2010 under the name, ‘Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island’.
Partners SEOR(Société d'Etudes Ornithologiques de La Réunion), France Univ RUN(Université de La Réunion), France ONCFS(Office national de la chasse et de la Faune sauvage), France


Project reference LIFE13 BIO/FR/000075
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 31-JUL -2020
Total budget 3,107,240.00 €
EU contribution 1,550,250.00 €
Project location Réunion(France)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Video link "Deux oiseaux emblématiques sont menacés de disparition... Île de la Réunion, Janvier 2015" [FR - 8']
Video link "Présentation du projet Life + Pétrels" (lien vers la vidéo du projet sur Vimeo)


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version