Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
An area of mainly dry calcareous grassland with sclerophyllous scrub, and old orchards. The main land-uses are extensive traditional sheep-farming; and growing almonds and olives.

Key biodiversity
This is the only large semi-arid plain in France, and supports important populations of typical steppe breeding species.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is seriously threatened by: the cultivation and modification of steppe-meadows; the use of irrigation; the felling of old almond and olive orchards and their replacement with commercial groves; the leasing out of military training areas for agricultural exploitation; disturbance from recreational activities and hunting; plans to build a motorway. These changes seriously threaten the populations of Tetrax tetrax, Burhinus oedicnemus and Pterocles alchata.

Protected areas
National Low International Partial146 ha of IBA covered by Voluntary Nature Reserve (La Poitevine, 146 ha). 11,500 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Crau Sèche, 11,500 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Crau. Downloaded from on 26/11/2022.