1st France’s National Park
This protected area, much of which stretches across Haute Maurienne Vanoise, was established in 1963, notably thanks to Gilbert André (1927-2018) who was mayor of Bonneval sur Arc at the time. The central part, or “heart”, is a protected space that benefits from regulation to encourage the biodiversity of its landscapes, habitats and species, and to preserve its cultural and alpine heritage.
During this winter period, nature everywhere seems to be asleep. 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, while the others migrate to the south of France or to Africa… to return again when the temperature rises.
Our feathered and furry friends require colossal amounts of energy and courage to stay warm and find food in winter, so it is important that skiers and walkers avoid disturbing them as far as possible; any extra effort to move in the snow can be fatal to them.