On September 4th 2021, the integrale reserve "Roche Grande" was established in the heart of the Mercantour National Park (France). The challenge: to study ecological processes without any human intervention and therefore in free evolution. The territory of this reserve extends over an area of about 500 ha and presents a vast set of lawns on limestone, cliffs and scree as well as some forest habitats. No human activity or presence is now allowed, so as to observe natural evolution. This creation of an integral reserve is only the third in France and is the result of collaborative work between the municipality of Entraunes, the National Forestry Office (NFO), the Communauté de communes Alpes d'Azur and the Mercantour National Park.
Ultimately, the goal is to have scientific references on the response of natural habitats and species, in a context of climate change. This data will make it possible to define evolutionary trajectories and assess the resilience of lawn systems and the animals that live there in the face of long- and short-term climatic events, such as droughts or extreme weather events. This reserve will be a laboratory site for innovative scientific work carried out by the National Park, the NFO and their partners.
Original statement (in French): http://www.mercantour-parcnational.fr/fr/actualites/une-reserve-integrale-dans-le-coeur-du-parc-national-du-mercantour