Initiatives in the field

Special accomodation for common terns

In 2008, when it was awarded level 4/4 of the improvement process under the UNICEM Environment Charter, Roussille welcomed the Chairman of SEPANLOG (an environmental protection association in the Lot-et-Garonne region). This specialist took the opportunity to draw attention to a bird – the common tern – found on the banks of the Layrac gravel pit.

The common tern is a migratory bird. Thinner than a gull, it is characterized by its very fringed tail and slender wings. Its head has a black crown that comes down to the nape of its neck, and its beak and feet are red.

Roussille proposed a commitment to provide a long-term environment for the tern, entering into a five-year management agreement with the association:

  • The association committed to study the species' behavior and reproduction.
  • The company committed to build a raft to make the species' nursery areas more secure.

This was a fine example of synergy between two worlds that are all too often opposed: the world of environmental associations and the corporate world.

From the very first year in which the raft was installed, six pairs of terns came to reproduce before continuing with their migration. The species remembers its nesting and birthing sites, so its numbers will increase every year!

The Layrac gravel pit is now listed as the common tern's only breeding ground in the Aquitaine region. In recognition of this type of approach, SEPANLOG won a special corporate sponsorship trophy launched by the Ministry for the Environment and Sustainable Development.

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Axel Fleuriet