Wildlife

The notion of Wildlife:

The fauna term, indicates in biology all the present animal species in a geographical space or a determined ecosystem (by opposition to the flora).

The Fauna of the French Parks:

France possesses an exceptional natural heritage, and very varied with maritime and mountainous areas. An important part of these sites are protected by national or regional parks. The wildlife which we meet in these Parks is extremely varied.

The Cevennes National park contain for his part, more than 2400 species.

The National park of Pyrenees contains more than 2.500 species of different plant. Other parks contain a wildlife so important.

The photos presented in the following galleries, are thus only a very small sample of what nature can presented, and offer to our contemplation.

Thanks to a strict protection and some reintroductions, Alpine fauna is very numerous and varied, despite pressure from urbanization and tourism. The Alps know a diverse and varied wildlife that has adapted to the rugged terrain, and extreme altitudes.

Wildlife presented on the site:

Bees :

Bees play a vital role in nature. They participate in the pollination of numerous botanical species. Without them, many varieties of plants, flowers and fruits would be condemned to disappear. The bees have need of the flower for its pollen, the flowers have need of the bee for fertilization (pollination).
For several years, we attend an abnormally high death rate of the domestic bees. The causes are numerous and badly known (pesticides, parasites). The threats which weigh on bees can have grave consequences on the agriculture and on our environment.

Butterflies :

The Lepidoptera (Lepidoptera) are an order of insects whose adult form is commonly called butterfly. They are characterized in the grown-up state by three pairs of legs (as all the insects) and by two pairs of wings covered with scales of color very varied according to the species. The Lepidoptera lay eggs that give rise to caterpillars. These last ones make of the silk, and often form then a cocoon.
The butterflies are pollinating agents, and thus have a useful role in the nature, although certain species are presented as harmful for the agriculture to the state of caterpillar. They are also a prey for birds, and other animals.

The 5,200 species of butterflies listed in France thus play an important role in the smooth running of the ecosystem balance. By their natural beauty the butterflies are capable of suciter a popular engoument for the preservation of natural beauty spots.

Dragonflies :

Odonates are an order of insects, often called dragonfly, long-bodied, with two pairs of membranous wings usually transparent, and whose large compound eyes and usually allow them to effectively hunt their prey. Their larvae develop in water, during the summer it metamorphose into flying insect called "imago".

Odonates include two sub-orders: the damselfly and Anisoptera :

  • The Anisoptera or dragonflies in the strict sense have extended wings flat at rest, not stalked and unequal, the anterior are narrower than the back legs, eyes often contiguous, a quick flight.
  • Zygoptères or damselflies with the fine body, have the previous and posterior identical wings, maintained along the body at rest, a head wider than long, widely separated eyes. The flight is not very fast and at rest, the wings are joined and erected over the body.

At zygoptères or damselflies, we distinguish :

  • the caloptéryx, with the metallic colors, and the colorful wings.
  • the agrions, small often with the blue or the red.
  • the nimble, often green metallic or browns.

43 species of dragonflies are identified in the Camargue on 83 listed in France. (Source P N R C of Camargue 2005). Almost totality of photos presented on the site were realized in the Camargue.

Mammals :

The Alpine ibex owes its survival to the protection from which it benefited very early in Italy. In 1922, the royal reserve of hunting of Gran Paradiso, becomes Italian national park. When creating of the Park of Vanoise in 1963, there were only about sixty ibexes in the massif. Today, there are more than 2.500, thanks to the actions of reintroduction, and a few individuals from the Gran Paradiso Park, adjacent to the Parc de la Vanoise. The Ibex became the emblem of the National park of Vanoise. We find him in the other regions of the Alps, Chartreuses, Queyras…
Since a ministerial decree of 1981 the ibex is a species protected on all the French national territory.

The Alpine Marmot has become the emblematic animal of the Alps. This small rodent exclusively herbivorous of the family Sciuridae, whistles to warn of the danger. Its main predator is the eagle,as well as the fox.
The Alpine Marmot, very sociable, lives in small colonies of family origin. A family group contains 5 to 12 individuals : a reproductive couple accompanied with his descendants of the last 2 or 3 years. The marmot digs highly branched galleries, in which she hibernate; she sleeps all winter in this burrow lined with hay, which she seals the entrance in September-October, it will remain there until spring.

Birds :

The southern Mediterranean presents a very important diversity of landscapes. This region is the meeting of the Alps and the Sea, Cevennes and the Scrubland, the regions swampy with the Delta of the Rhône and the Camargue, salterns, and vineyard and meadows. This diversity of landscapes, leads an important and varied birdlife. Of more our region is a place of transit for the birds which migrate of the Northern Europe to Africa, to pass the bad season, before redoing the road inverts from spring.
The Camargue is one of the places he stayed in Europe or the most ducks. There is the Red-crested Pochard, Mallard duck, Eurasian Wigeon, to name the most common species. In areas of marsh with brackish waters, we find small waders such as sandpipers, Pied Avocet, Common Redshank.
This region is thus my hunting ground (photo) preferred, especially for birds.

By going back up in Cevennes, the gorges of Jonte shelter the Griffon vultures. This large raptor of 2m60 large-scale, had disappeared from the region of hight limestone plateaus, victim of the poisonings of "harmful", and from the lack of food. This is a protected species which has been re-introduced in the gorges of the Jonte since 1967.

The Camargue is unquestionably the paradise of birds; this region counts more than 350 species of resident birds or migratory. This one is a place of wintering for numerous species (ducks mallards, teals, souchets, etc.), it is a zone of international importance for the migration.

Of its importance, Birds of Camargue are subject to a specific page.

Note : Most pictures galleries of mammals and birds are made with a telephoto lens 4/500 AfsVrII Nikkor, sometimes associated with a converter TC14EIII Nikon.

I try to crop photographs as little as possible, however, the conditions of shooting (too location remote from) sometimes force, to use this method.