The mountains offer an immense variety of fauna and flora which are, of course, harder to see in winter than in summer, though if you pay close attention, you will be able to spot animal tracks in the snow.
The Méribel valley is fortunate in that it extends all the way from lower, mostly wooded altitudes, through deciduous and then coniferous zones, all the way up to glacial tundra.
With the creation of the Vanoise National Park in 1963 and then the Plan de Tuéda Nature Reserve 27 years later, our valley’s inhabitants and local council undertook to devote almost a third of its 8,000 hectares to the protection of its biotope and environment.
In the summer of 2021, the Park set up a permanent scientific base near le Refuge du Saut, where researchers of all types carry out studies on the geology, vegetation and wildlife of the area, which has already led to the discovery of previously unknown insects.
If, in winter, you visit the permanent exhibition in la Maison de la Réserve, on the banks of Lake Tuéda, you will learn about the variety of plants and animals that can be seen in summer.
You will discover how the Plan de Tuéda Arolla forest develops with the help of the Nutcracker bird which lives in the woods.
By burying and sometimes then forgetting its pine seeds, this bird allows new trees to grow, as does another bird, the Common crossbill, whose erratic feeding habits also helps new shoots to grow.
In summer, amongst our valley’s iconic mountain flowers, you can admire rare alpine beauties such as Martagon lilies and Lady’s-slipper orchids.
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