La Dombes

Comité de pilotage Natura 2000
étang de Saint-André-de-Corcy
Leuccorhine à gros thorax
Cuivré des marais
Echasse blanche
Le "thou" d'un étang - outil de gestion traditionnelle de l'eau en Dombes
Etangs de la Dombes
Grèbe à cou noir
Guifette moustac
Pêche d'étang

La Dombes

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    47,659 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    46°01'N 05°03'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


La Dombes features more than 1,200 ponds located on a flat plain north of Lyon. It is a stopover and refuge site for migratory birds, including wintering birds, particularly during cold spells in eastern and northern Europe. It is one of two major nesting sites of the red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) in western Europe. Other nesting bird species include the little egret (Egretta garzetta), the Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) and the white stilt (Himantopus himantopus). It is the only national site where the ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) breeds regularly, and since 2012 has been the only national breeding site of the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus). Other species that make the Dombes internationally important are the common pochard (Aythya ferina), the lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and the curlew (Numenius arquata). La Dombes is known for its birds, but other characteristic species include the woodland brown butterfly (Lopinga achine) and the great capricorn beetle (Cerambyx cerdo), as well as bats such as the European barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) and Beichstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii). The Site is used for long term monitoring and for recreational hunting and fishing. It faces four major challenges: the problem of recurrent droughts, the frequency of which has increased with climate change; the pursuit of water management based on traditional practices that respect the cycles of the ponds (alternating drying and flooding); the reduction of impacts related to the effects of intensive agricultural practices on soils that favour the diffusion of pollutants; and invasive alien species.

Administrative region: 
Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes / Département de l'Ain

  • National legal designation: 
    • Autres réserves de chasse - Etang du chapelier
    • Espaces Naturels Sensibles - Etangs de la Dombes (5 sites)
    • Réserve de Chasse - Réserve départementale de la Dombes
    • Site naturel inscrit - Marais des Echets
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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