France’s 1st National Park
This protected area, much of which stretches across Haute Maurienne Vanoise, was established in 1963, notably thanks to Gilbert André who was mayor of Bonneval sur Arc at the time. The central part, or “heart”, is a space that is protected by regulations in order to encourage biodiversity in terms of the landscape, the habitats and the species that live here, as well as preserving the local culture and alpine heritage.
During this winter period, nature everywhere appears to be dormant. But wild animals are definitely present, adopting various strategies to survive the harsh winter months: the marmot hibernates, the black grouse spends the night in an igloo, and the birds that stay puff up their feathers to make their own winter jacket. The other birds migrate to the south of France or to Africa… to return again when the temperature rises.
In winter, our feathered and furry friends require colossal amounts of courage and energy to stay warm and find food, so it is important that skiers and walkers do all they can to avoid disturbing them, as extra effort spent moving around in the snow can be fatal to them.