Parc National du Mercantour

Parc National du Mercantour

Located at the crossroads of multiple climatic, geological and altitudinal influences, the Mercantour National Park is home to a wealth of exceptional diversity.

This variety of landscapes, atmospheres and impressions makes it a unique jewel of unspoiled nature. For a long time shared between Italy and France, then between decline and “white gold”, the Mercantour found the right balance between naturalness and human occupation with the creation of the National Park in 1979.

Large and small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, the fauna of the Mercantour is diverse. It is made up of several hundred species, some inherited from the last glaciations.

Among them is the wolf, which naturally returned to the Mercantour National Park in 1992, and which has since progressed throughout the Alpine arc and other departments.

In the context of the problem of this return in relation to the damage caused by wolves to domestic herds, the Mercantour National Park has been working for several years, in collaboration with other partners, on the effectiveness of herd protection dogs, observing wolf-dog-herd interactions at night with high-performance thermal binoculars (from the company Sagem). These remarkable tools allow us to enter the “world of night” and better understand these interactions, with a view to improving the effectiveness of the dogs and protection.

These are the same binoculars that have been made available to the LIFE+ Petrels program in the Reunion Island National Park during this 2015-2016 austral summer.