Ilet Burgaux

Îlet Burgaux is an uninhabited islet in the commune of Sainte-Anne. It is part of the Réserve des îlets de Sainte-Anne (Sainte-Anne islets nature reserve), one of the most important nesting sites for migratory seabirds in the Lesser Antilles.

It rises 8 meters above the level of France. It is shaped like a butterfly, with a hole in its center, which in the past earned it the name of îlet Percé.

Like îlet Poirier, Hardy or Percé, it is a protected islet because of the migratory seabirds that come here to breed.

Five bird species are found on the islet: the Sooty Tern, the Bridled Tern, the Brown Noddy, the Audubon Shearwater and the Red-billed Tropicbird. They come here to breed from March to December.

The Burgaux islet, with its skeletal soil, is almost bare or covered with a carpet of sea purslane, creating a dried-out film or curtain in places.

The rock appears reddish to greenish. This is the only islet in the Reserve where overly restrictive conditions (lack of soil, small size) prevent the establishment of woody plants. Plant species richness is low.

Of all the migratory bird species present, the Sooty Tern is the most important. It likes to nest directly on these soft purslane mats. Among the sedentary species, the Carib grackle dominates.

The flora of the islets in the Réserve nationale des Îlets de la Ville de Sainte-Anne is not very diverse. There are just 21 species on the 4 islets (Burgaux, Hardy, Poirier and Percé).

It's almost impossible to get there. Anchoring at Burgaux is virtually impossible. The sea is aggressive and there is a swell. Access is gained at low tide by crossing the summit reef plateau on foot. The shallow seabed makes it easy to jump on every wave or swell. It's a coral reef dotted with seaweed.

Apart from the physical impossibility, as this is a highly protected site because of the birds that come here to nest and breed, it is forbidden to approach closer than 100 meters.

You have to go along the eastern fringe and climb the sheared rocky table colonized by numerous chitons.

12,000 years ago, before the glaciers melted, the sea level was 100 meters lower, and the islets were continuous. It was possible to leave Îlet Burgaux and walk back to Îlet Percé before the tide went out. Visits on Îlet Burgaux were therefore limited by the tide.