The Loire nature programme includes an important scientific section set up by the Federation of nature conservatories in connection with the « LPO » (French partner of Birdlife).
It is designed to improve knowledge of the natural heritage of water courses and wetlands in the Loire basin and to develop pertinent tools to improve its protection and management.
Within this context, the programme sites provide a veritable experimental network where actions are monitored and evaluated locally as well as on a basin-wide scale.
An important organisation has been set up to monitor and build on the actions undertaken by site operators within the basin, in the field of studying, managing, restoring and monitoring natural environments. Scientific monitoring methods have been standardised to obtain comparable data between sites.
In addition, particular attention is paid to the study of certain priority themes, using Loire nature sites. For instance, alluvial forests, open alluvial environments (prairies and meadows), abandoned channels, as well as river dynamics and mobility areas are particularly studied and will eventually be the subject of scientific and technical reference publications.
Finally, in so far as knowledge is essential for providing protection, a centre for natural heritage resources is being set up in the Loire basin and this will describe and monitor populations of certain rare and threatened species in the basin as well as identifying zones with special conservation value.