Research Station Station de Recherche Forschungsstation

Petite Camargue Alsacienne













The Research Station Petite Camargue Alsacienne offers accommodation for researchers of diverse scientific disciplines. In studies of the past years, for example, it was investigated how the song of the nightingale influenced music and poetry (Haag-Wackernagel 1996), how the use of Highland cattle in conservation management can be modified from a veterinarian point of view (Euler 1996), or how relief, soil, and water should be accounted for in the management of the nature reserve Petite Camargue Alsacienne (Berger 1993). The Research Station is in the middle of this nature reserve, and research activities must therefore be largely compatible with the goals of conservation. Ever since the Research Station was founded, it took part in inventory taking of plants and animals; current work is done on lichens, beetles, and birds.

Long-term studies were conducted, for example, on the ecology of the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita; Golay 1996) and the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus; Vaterlaus 1998). The Research Station also rears animals for (re-) introduction: In 1990, the first Highland cattle were introduced for the management of the marsh areas (Walther 1994). Several groups of European swamp turtles (Emys orbicularis) living in the Station's outdoor enclosures are intended to be re-introduced in the northern part of Alsace. At the local bird observatory Station Ornithologique de l'Au, migrating and breeding birds are observed, captured, and ringed on behalf of the Centre de Recherches sur la Biologie des Populations d'Oiseaux.

A main focus of research is currently on the behavioural ecology of passerines and particularly of the nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos). In this regard, there is a prolific collaboration with the University of Bielefeld (Germany). Many master theses, Ph.D. theses and other research is done in collaboration with other institutes of the University of Basel, in particular with the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, the Institute of Environmental Sciences, and the Institute of Physiogeography and Landscape Ecology. However, the Research Station also welcomes researchers from all over the world.