Biodiversity refers to the natural diversity of living organisms. The region provides a habitat for mixed flora and fauna, which are subjected to diverse threats. If nature is above all a common heritage offered to everything and everyone, it therefore deserves respect and “responsible” exploration.
An outstanding natural heritage…
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has a natural wealth which might be the envy of numerous other areas. By way of example, the region provides a habitat for a third of France’s species of insects, for almost two thirds of its plant species, numerous nesting and migratory birds and over ten species of marine mammals. You can even find endemic species such as the artemesia molinieri in the centre of Var, the Doradille de Jahandier in the Gorges du Verdon, the Apron in the Rhône basin.
This exceptional biodiversity can be explained by the presence of various natural environments which are home to multiple species of fauna and flora: the garrigues and maquis of Provence, wetlands of all types, mountain areas, forests – 44% of the land of this region is covered with forests! – or even the coastline, the islands and the open sea. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is considered to be a “hot spot” for biodiversity. As a whole, the Mediterranean basin has been identified as one of the 34 international hot spots for the high concentration of its biodiversity.
…to be discovered in a responsible way
The threats to biodiversity are diverse and complex.. pollution of the sea, air and land, overexploitation of natural resources, invasions of species, soaring urbanisation, global warming…The region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has not been spared and numerous species are under threat of extinction.
Within this context, the marks left by man must be minimal. To achieve this it is imperative to respect the regulations in force, particularly in national Parks, regional natural parks, nature reserves, listed sites and other protected territories. Choose places to explore that are supervised and do not hesitate to use naturalist guides who will increase your awareness of the fragile state of natural environments and reveal to you nature’s secrets.