The association Aude nature proceeds on the territory of the Narbonnaise to a census of the urban swallows which nest in the sponge cakes of the roofs or in the barns. The objective is to promote the presence of these emblematic and useful birds for humans.
They symbolize the arrival of good weather and would bring the same happiness to the house they would choose to build their nest. However, the protected species of swallows is in decline. “Over the past 30 years, populations have fallen by 39% across France. This is mainly due to the modernization of agriculture, the use of pesticides, the loss of habitat with old barns transformed into housing … We would like to help the swallows”, explains Dominique Clément, ornithologist and founder of Aude nature. To save swallows in the future, it is therefore urgent to act today. A census of these birds is in progress and this action in favor of biodiversity is financed by the African reserve of Sigean.
Join the Swallow Defenders
The Aude nature association has been working on this in the Narbonnaise region since April. On the perimeter of the Regional Natural Park, volunteer sentries roam the streets of around twenty villages, plan in hand. In each street, they look up to spot nests high up. “For these house swallows that nest in the heart of villages, we claim to be exhaustive”, says Dominique Clément. On the other hand, the operation is more delicate for those which nest out of sight, in barns and stables, namely barn swallows. Moreover, we can help Aude nature in its mission by notifying it of the presence of these discreet barn swallows (1), which can settle in wineries, campsites, boxes in equestrian centers…
At the end of this census, Aude nature will study with the municipalities how to encourage swallow populations. “For example, we can install from the end of March bins containing mud to help them build their nests. We can put nesting boxes on municipal buildings, as well as wooden boards to limit excreta. The inhabitants will also be made aware” . The opportunity may be to join the defenders of swallows and Aude nature, always looking for volunteers. Especially since these emblematic birds are also precious friends for man: “Swallows feed on insects and in particular mosquitoes, about 3000 prey per day and per bird. And they contribute to the charm of our villages”.