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Mercantour National Park

The nature preserved in the Southern Alps

Parc National du MercantourThe Mercantour National Park is one of seven national parks in France, located in the departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes de Haute-Provence. It is particularly known for hosting dozens of wolves from Italy.

To protect wildlife, central areas of Massif du Mercantour were first ordered royal hunting reserve in 1859 by King Victor Emmanuel II, then Reserve fighter in 1946, and Reserve in 1953 by ministerial decree. The Mercantour National Park was established in 1979.

The Mercantour National Park covers a territory of the first 685 sq. km, the central area, then a peripheral area of 1463 km², including 28 municipalities. The Mercantour National Park is attached to the Ministry of Environment.

Its tasks are threefold

1 - Protecting nature : in the central zone, the rules of environmental protection are very strict; panels green background you will indicate the main permits and prohibitions. Failure to comply can expose you to fines.
2 - Host and awareness : The central area of the Mercantour National Park, particularly regulated, however, is open to all. It is accessible on foot, and does not deprive you go there during your walks. The protected areas are covered by 600 km of trails, very well maintained. In some communes, Properties Park to better inform you about the different possibilities for excursions.
3 - To promote local development : In the 28 municipalities in the peripheral area, the Mercantour National Park using local actors to enhance the cultural and architectural heritage, in the constant concern for environmental protection. The facilities receive technical and financial aid.

The fauna

The Mercantour National Park is home to a varied wildlife and abundant. The mountains can admire the ibex and chamois, while the valleys are frequented by many deer, deer and wild boar. The birds (black grouse, golden eagle, Gypaetus barbatus) are present everywhere. Of course, the wolf is still present in the Mercantour, since it made a return naturally in this region.

The flora

The flora is also extremely rich in the Mercantour, it is represented by more than 2000 species on the 4200 identified in France. The larch is without doubt the tree that symbolizes the best Mercantour. In some cities (Colmars les Alpes, Allos...) you will see a few roofs made with the traditional species.

Under the dual influence of the Southern Alps and the Mediterranean, the Mercantour National Park welcomes you to an exhilarating walk through a nature preserve.

Note that since 1987 the National Park is paired with the regional park nearby Parco naturale Alpi Marittime, Italy, with which a draft European Park is also under consideration. The Italian park is created around the massive Argentera, whose summit, close to our border, rises to 3290 metres

Pictures of the Mercantour National Park

Allos - toits de mélèze Lac d'Allos Mercantour Parc du Mercantour Mercantour 2 Parc du Mercantour 2

Around the Mercantour

Vallée du Haut Verdon - Vallée de L'Ubaye - Allos - Colmars les Alpes - Barcelonnette - Jausiers - Lac de Serre-Ponçon - Gorges du Verdon

Other cities in Provence