Un patrimoine naturel exceptionnel



The rich fauna of Ecrins (more than 350 species of vertebrates) is the diversity of its ecosystems. The conservation of these species susceptible to disturbance is closely dependent on the control of many recreational activities (skiing, snowshoeing in snow …).

Emblematic species, chamois were barely 3000 to the creation of the park. They are nearly 15,000 today, demonstrate their perfect adaptation to the environment. The evolution of populations is closely followed, using different methods of contagion, through the park and the Federation of Hunters Isere. They are easily observed as roadside that during walks in the valley.

The ibex is returning to the operations that were conducted reintroductions: nearly 600 animals frequent again the rock walls of the massif. The species was nearly exterminated because of its exit strategy, which involves climbing a cliff as high as possible – very effective strategy against the hunter.

Symbol of the national park, the golden eagle is very present in Oisans. The most reproductive Park couple with one or two eaglets per year, has also built its range in the valley Ferrand, in the cliffs between Clavans and Besse, as Emparis plateau. Its area is still built downstream of hunting because it is easier to let it glide back when a prey to his eagle.

The golden eagle sharing the sky with the bearded vulture and the fawn and monk vultures, which are very likely to feed on the pastures of the plateau Emparis. A beautiful colony also housed in the cliffs of the common Clavans and returns each night to rest.

The valley is home to other species emblematic mountain that it is not unusual to see the dark, such as wild boar, marmots, and hares. In the air, your eyes will cross the flight of a ptarmigan (bird arctic origin, relic of the Ice Age), the bat, the black grouse (emblematic species of the Alps), the rock partridge, quail, the chough, or alpine finch (typical sparrow mountains).

Finally the location of the park and its diverse natural environments explain the return of large predators such as wolves (no pack but solitary individuals) and the lynx, which have not yet been observed in the peripheral area of the park.

For more information, visit the mineral museum and wildlife in Bourg d’Oisans . Tel: 04 76 80 27 54


The flora

More than 1800 plant species are identified in the Ecrins National Park. This diversity responds to the layering of vegetation from 800 to 4102m.

The Haut-Oisans meets the valleys of the Romanche, Vénéon and Ferrand, and is defined by a strong mineral glacial atmosphere and high rocky mountains.

This space has great geological diversity (limestone rocks crystallophyllian acid glacial moraine veneer …), which is naturally linked to a wide variety of natural habitats mosaic of pastures, wet meadows, “fen” slope (fed by groundwater), sedge meadows (dominated by sedge plant community), meso-hygrophile meadows, etc …

Above 2000 m altitude gradually appear alpine meadows shave, rockeries and scree training, moraines and rocky outcrops. With its appearance “gardening”, the subalpine zone is a paradise for hikers. It is characterized by a discontinuous or less dense forest (birch, tamarack), which often gives way to pasture or moor. It has often been the subject of deforestation to expand pastures surfaces.

Floristic diversity is very important here. Notable species include Campanula on the Mont Cenis and the two saxifrage flowers, staying in limestone scree. The snow patches are characterized by a rare species of Arabis bluish. Wetlands on the site home they cirse false sneezeweed, butterwort spur hail, Swertie perennial, downy willow and willow false daphne. The rocks and boulders in altitude are not left out because they contain the hernia of the Alps, the dwarf forget-cinquefoil of frost and yellow genépi.

The wormwood is (with edelweiss), one of the most popular and representative alpine plants. There are four species, which are mainly used in the manufacture of liquor, but also more and more products (beer, teas, sausages …). The collection is regulated, as it is authorized to collect a handful per person (except for the white wormwood, which is fully protected).

Because of its delicate roots and slow regeneration, wormwood is a fragile plant. Its harvest must be done with a sharp object while avoiding tearing and destruction of the plant, and this in order to continue this ancient tradition that is gathering.

Near the Ferrand valley (towards Briançon), you can visit the Lautaret Alpine Botanical Garden . C lue by 1899, he was witness to a century-old passion for the University of Grenoble for the Alpine flora. The rich collections and development in integrated rock landscape make this altitude garden one of the most beautiful in Europe.

This text is based on the document “Natural Areas of Ecological Interest Fauna and Flora – High Ferrand Valley” of the Regional Directorate of the Environment.