Marshy island in the delta of the Rhône River, southern France. Occupying an area of 300 sq mi (780 sq km), it is sparsely populated). The region was once entirely wild, with free-roaming herds of cattle and wild horses; such herds can still be found in the regional park. Vineyards, forage crops, and grains were planted beginning in the late 19th century; rice growing developed after 1945. A nature reserve at the Vaccarès Lagoon protects waterbirds such as flamingos and egrets.