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1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site

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Wildlife in the Verdon


The spotted Salamander is a host quite common, but very discrete, clear streams and sources in the undergrowth of Oaks where it is active from dusk till the early morning, from March to October. Its showy, black livery marked more or less extensive yellow spots, would be a way to prevent the predators of the toxicity of the mucus that covers his body. However, it is totally harmless to humans when avoiding to rub the eyes after it have affected. Ovoviviparous, the eggs develop in the genital tract of the female, she gives "birth" (relatively perilous exercise insofar as the adult salamander cannot swim!) at the beginning of spring in clear waters of larvae that metamorphose is 6 months later. Attributed to him once the enviable but dubious property survived the fire, which both earned him to be associated with witchcraft and serve as an emblem for French I.

Short-toed eagle

A couple of circaetes nestled on the edge of the plateau, between Roumoules and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. This large Raptor (it reaches 2 m wingspan) arrives late March, and until the autumn, will track the snakes and vipers that constitute almost all of his regime. Two tips to recognize: his chest, his belly and Underwing /e appear very clear (more or less dotted brown black white), the end of these being well marked black, and its hovering. Upwind, it is able to do the on-site, nose-up, bent wings and dangling legs, before stitch on its prey.

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The little Bustard

Pétomane or daily, is its "prett" short and dry recalling a 'cane which farts"that the male little Bustard owes its name. In the spring, adorned with its plumage to broad black collar underlined two white stripes, he calls his beautiful, and joining the gesture the floor to heavy reinforcements of movement of wings and blackfly of attack - hold me or I do a woe - tries to discourage competition. Discreet despite its size, its span in flight exceeds 1 m, he attended Fallows and young fields of lavender or sainfoin from late March to September. Threatened by changes in agricultural practices, the numbers are clear regression, including on the plateau' where the Bustard survives, it seems, in a zone reduced between Valensole, Puimoisson and Brunet.

The Green Lizard

Whimsical in his behavior sometimes Flash disappearing between two clumps of grass, or on the contrary perfectly still, believing to blend with the environment, it is in fact little discreet betrayed by its bright green, and the male in the spring, by its electric blue throat. Ubiquitous, he likes both the arid hillsides as the shaded banks of streams. Good swimmer and good climber, it feeds on insects, molluscs and crustaceans, but scorns not a young bird or small mammal, dragging all of some juicy fruit. Aggressive if it enters, his bite is harmless. To make him let go of its prey, unlike legends, needless to behead him, just him tickle the belly.

Butterflies: Appolon, swallowtail and flamed

Protected species present in France only in the Southern Alps and the Pyrenees, the Apollo flies by sunny weather, on or around the open hillsides bordering the track departing from Saint-Jurs. Indolent and little fierce, discussed in July forage major Thistles that grow in the Colostre. Large size (6 to 8 cm wingspan), admittedly its "General" white and two red blotches bordered black adorning its hindwings. His presence is linked to that of its Caterpillar food plants, fleece (in particular the sedum. White common here) and houseleek.
The swallowtail and the flamed are two "half-moon" butterflies who frequent this area, from the months of April and may. Large size, on your distinguished for the swallowtail in its "siloed" forewings and red spot that marks the base of the "tails", when the forewings of the flamed are Zebra, and the task at the base of orange lined blue tail. Their presence is related to the abundance of species of umbelliferae, such as carrot and fennel, which feed on caterpillars, and agricultural practices, with mowing prairies, not too intensive pesticide treatments.

Squirrel: a trapeze artist is distracted

Agile Elf, the squirrel anime undergrowth and groves. It is often at her unworthy before our intrusion (or that of its congeners) screams that we guess the presence of this fierce defender of its territory. Often lonely, he ruled 2 to 4 hectares of pine forest, all busy to make provisions of seeds for the winter (which he forgets often cache) or busy to develop, with a roof and a door, the discontinued of a magpie nest. In late February, five weeks after mating, the female gives birth, in a cosy nest lined with MOSS, 3 to 4 small are weaned after 8 weeks later.

Processionnaires caterpillars

"They are run on a single row, in beading, each touching the back of the previous head." The sinuosities complex that describes, in its caprices vagrants, the Caterpillar opening the market, all other scrupulously describe them. Where the name of thaumetopoea given the Nibbler pine". J.H. Fabre - Entomological Souvenirs.
Thaumetopoea pinivora is a discreet little moth that flies in the months of July and August. He is best known for its caterpillars, pine processionaries. Laying on pine needles are born, in September, the caterpillars. Pale yellow first, and then Rufous red pits, they will develop until the following spring by eating pine needles.Sheltering the autumn night in simple light tents of silk, they make for winter large cocoon that adorns some pine branches. During processions to get in the restaurant or in the spring to go to bury and molt quietly, each Caterpillar file, thus weaving a "fil d'ariane" which allows him to return safely from his dinner wanderings. Attention, des chenilles processionnaires are equipped with extremely stinging hairs and allergens. It may be better to avoid to touch, and the nests, and be careful that your dog does not put the truffles or the language on processions (true emergency that requires a heavy veterinary treatment).

Freshwater fish

The waters of good quality of the Verdon, its lakes and its tributaries there allow the presence of almost all of the species of fish from the southeast of the France.In lakes, Pike reigns supreme. After a few years in the turbulent waters of the torrents, trout fario (local noble species, in contrast to imported rainbow trout in North America) will join the Pike to sow terror among the frying of the Lakes. North Park, the downstream part of the Asse hosts a curious small endemic, rare and protected in southeastern France, the apron.

Wales: Children spoilt

Children, what concern! Especially when there is a frail and we want to protect his laying of the thousand and one predator which the making. The cynipid, kinds of tiny flies, have found an original solution to solve the problem, shuffling the baby to someone of beefier. Lady Cynipid "injects" its ponte in the thickness of an oak leaf or a sprig of rose hips or Elm. Outraged by this intrusion, the tree reacts by manufacturing around the ponte a kind of protective shell, the gall. Insect hatching larvae, have more than puncture the wall of the shell to the harsh realities of life. Watch round Wales, about the size of a marble, fairly common oak leaves on the underside. They most often have a small hole, a sign that "the bird has flown", but if they are intact, cutting, we discover the insect larvae. These Wales were still used at the beginning of the century by campaign teachers. Crushed and mixed with old rusty nails and a little water, simply heat the mixture to obtain a beautiful black ink.


The couple of vultures who hovers over the low-gorges summer is only present on the territory of the Park. Once present in the Mediterranean region, this small Vulture (everything is relative: his wingspan reaches still 1.70 m), became scarce at the beginning of the century, when the evolution of farming, with rendering, reduces the frequency of the corpses that are his only food. Recognizable by its clear plumage and yellow mask, the vulture is a migrant, wintering in tropical Africa, nesting in France from April to September. After a period of wandering for a few years, young people come to nest in the region where they were born.Regular reproduction of bass-Gorges torque lets hope to see the sky of Park

Cicada: Melody in basement

Word of La Fontaine is not word of gold. Ask a little cicada relatives what they think of the reputation of oisives that has made our illustrious fabulist. Backbiting and injustice, you will tell them, everyone doesn't have it right a few weeks under the Sun of Provence when there like us, spent three years without seeing the day as background? Hatched in the fall from an egg laid in a pine twig, the larva of cicada, the following spring, buries for an underground life of 2 to 5 years (depending on species). Feeding on roots, she will molt several times to, finally, a beautiful June day, join the free air, climb on a blade of grass, perform its last MOLT (thereby abandoning the empty "carcasses" found) and soar to enjoy the summer. Only Mr sings, thanks to a complex system of mesh and amplifier located on and in the chest, to attract a female. Result of their union, the female cicada will lay eggs which will release the larvae in August/September.

Green and yellow snake

This large snake, which can measure up to 1.8 m, is the most common in the landes, on the edge of the Woods and on the slope where, from March to November, she hunts down lizards, small rodents, and vipers. Its dark green color to black, punctuated by yellow in adults, the well distinguished from other species of snakes. If she lives and hunting on the ground, it will surprise the most often trying to bask in the Sun on some bushes. Very aggressive, it attacks if we try to grasp it, but its bite is harmless. Like all reptiles of France, the Green and yellow snake is protected. Don't give in to panic.


Areas where alternate forested massifs and open areas are preferred by deer. Not surprising then that it intersects at every turn of the trail (finally almost, when you are early risers), or that it finds during the rut, in July-August season, to the bark hoarse and brief of the male which meets the female. Unique phenomenon in deer, the fertilized egg remains "dormant" until November, where he started only to grow to a low setting five months later. Almost exterminated in the last century, the deer is returning to the establishment of hunting plans, despite opposition from hunters. This rigorous management is still required to control a population that without it and in the absence of large predators, would see numbers increase by 30% per year.

Feathers and hairs

Late fall and winter, we meet in the Verdon another hiker that one is dressed in autumnal colours, well bundled up and armed with a rifle. The Verdon is a country of hunters... We hunt here "pen" and "hair", the small and the big game: hares, rabbits, Woodcock and some deer, for which a Plan of hunting strictly regulates the number of 'pieces'. But it is especially wild boar that garnishes the paintings of hunting, both animal is widespread throughout the territory. Night, at the bend of a turn it is also dreaded by motorists. On hunting wild boar in beaten, once or twice a week. It is a team sport which we announce the festivities a few days before by a small sign on the wall of the Town Hall. At the appointed time, hunters can be present. It then distributes seats to each. That is why during the winter we accommodate wild boar in stew... The great art of hunting however is reserved for the thrush, for which it develops techniques and patience treasures. Were the hunted once using "probed", rudimentary traps made of a flat stone held in balance by four small pieces of wood over another stone. Between these two stones, there were a few pieces of fruit and especially juniper berries, including thrush loves... imagine the sequel. Closer to poaching as hunting, employment of colleagues is now banned. One hunting rifle thrush using different bait: "callers", that is to say live thrushes which play the role of decoy. You must first set up its stock of appellants. A Hunter has the right to possess only 5 and he cannot rent them or lend... To catch his first thrushes, the Hunter uses "engluants", it means small sticks covered with a sort of glu and arranged on a place of thrushes, generally near Juniper or near a water point. Once the thrush is trapped, it cleans, he had to drink a little water and it puts her in a cage from which it may draw its congeners. But beware, the days where you capture the appellants, it is forbidden to hunt rifle! Equipped with appellants, the Hunter can then install and wait away from its 'post', small lightweight construction made of wood or sheet metal, in which it has its cages, a Chair and sometimes a small heating system.


Zoology is not a mystery, Raven is a class in the passerines, as the robins and chickadees: Present year-round, it nests in the cliffs or trees at the entrance of the gorges of the Rayaup Gorge. Admittedly its tail diamond and his cries hoarse and serious. What is the conquest of his beautiful which makes it turn the head, or the pleasure of playing in the ancestry? Excellent sailboat Raven may, among other stunts, flying on the back or perform the loopings. Long persecuted for its bad reputation (scavenger, it is disdained battlefields), numbers are recovering from its total protection in the 1970s.


Five or six pairs of Eagles nest on the territory of the Park, including two to around Blieux, St-Jurs and Saint-Julien-du-Verdon. Recognizable in flight to its large feathers from the end of the well spread wings, and its well straight wing leading edge, the Eagle plane at high altitude, as soon as the aerological conditions (thermal lift) are favourable. When a couple is formed, it installs several areas, generally on a cliff ledge, more rarely on a tree. Over the years, except trouble, he favours one for spawning, but continues to maintain others, used as a pantry or a night. Courtship takes place in February/March for a clutch of 2 eggs, followed by a brooding of a month and a half, and fledging 2 months later. L'Aiglon apprenticed of hunting with her parents during the summer, before a "erratisme" phase of several years until sexual maturity. Marmots (in summer), hares, rabbits and birds are the basic scheme of the Eagle, which however not is reluctant to play the scavengers winter. If he can stitch on its prey, it is most often a flight in flying low that it catches, especially when the couple hunting together: one of the spouses "throws" the prey than the other, flying 50 or 100 m behind, has only to pick! In steep decline into the early 1970s, victim of hunting and pesticides, the Eagle sees since, with its legal protection and the abandonment of organochlorines (Pesticides that were accumulating in the food chain) an encouraging rise in numbers.


Rupicapra rupicapra, of rupi = rock and copra goat, that is, for once, a latin name clear and concise. The chamois has a range of adaptations that make it an incomparable all-terrain of the mountains. Traction control, with hooves at the cutting edge; deformable chassis with absence of clavicle, scapula SP and conformation of hip and elbow; engine and powerful transmission with short, muscular legs; injection "turbo" rote 350 g (for 40 kg) when man does not exceed 280 g; fuel doped, his blood contains up to I 0 million red blood cells per mm cube (4 to 5 million in humans); driving on snow with a flexible membrane, kind of "racket", between the hooves; and all that warm thanks to its triple coat insulation. Decimated by hunting in the 1950s, the chamois recolonise all massive since the introduction of plans for hunting fixing each year shooting quotas based on numbers.


When you 140.00 on the meadow of Praux, in the hike from Blieux in Rougon, there is strong to bet if you are the first visitors of the day, you will be greeted by a few whistles not really flattering. However, with a little patience (and good binoculars), you'll quickly see out of their burrows, marmots that roost under the bar of the flutes.


The antennas are known well on the Valensole plateau. All colors and forms. Long, a short, a stout, of slivered. It is well worth an antenna to disseminate or receive information. Look attentive care that their door praying mantis-nun in turn smoothing them between her legs or bending them to her mouth to remove any dust. Or even to watch these two ants, interrupting a moment their armoury busy for antenna against antenna, exchange the latest gossip of the anthill. Even the naturalist is his account. Locust or grasshopper? Those of the first are short and squat when the second door long and thin. Butterfly's day or moth? Smooth antennae at the end Club, it is diurnal, feathery, it is night. Not to mention the beetles.

Griffon Vulture

Once common in all mountains in the South of the France, the Griffon Vulture, victim of shooting and poisoning, remained more in the seventies, in the Pyrenees.Strictly scavenger, it is totally harmless to our sheep or our babies! It may even be a valuable Assistant of human avoiding pollution of the waters of rivers, by recycling the corpses of wild animals (or a few sheep "forgotten" in a ravine). Reintroduced in the Verdon at the end of the 1990s, its 2.5 meter wingspan make this giant of the greatest arias from french raptors, with the bearded.

paddle boat in the Lake Sainte-Croix
Climbing tree
Pont de Galetas
Pont du Roc

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