The Natura 2000 sites, which are fundamental tools of the European policy for the preservation of biodiversity, aim to better take into account biodiversity issues in human activities. These sites are designated to protect a number of habitats and species representative of European biodiversity.
Céüse, Mountain Aujour, Pico Mountain and Crigne Saint Genis
Between Buëch and Durance, the Special Conservation Area (SCA) "Céüse, Montagne d'Aujour, Pic de Crigne and Montagne de Saint Genis" covers more than 6 900 ha and 18 municipalities in the Hautes-Alpes. It is a transition zone between the Mediterranean and Alpine areas where the dominant influences vary according to the sector and exposure.
This mainly forest site (79% of its surface area) is located at an altitude of 620 to 2015 metres, creating a contrasting mosaic of natural environments that encourages the presence of exceptional flora and fauna. In particular, we can find wood-boring beetles such as the Rosalie des Alpes or the Lucane kite in the old forests of the site, the Damier de la Succise in open environments, the Sabot de Vénus on the edge of dry beech forests and 17 species of bats out of 34 present in metropolitan France.
Some plant species are remarkable on the site because of their rarity in the Hautes-Alpes or in France, such as the fruit box of two kinds (Geum heterocarpum), the radiant broom (Genista radiata) or the pectinated quackgrass (Agropyron cristatum).
Chaudun : a village stuck in time
If the village of Chaudun founded in 1593 was abandoned by its inhabitants at the end of the nineteenth century, it is today present in the heart of a vast area with wild landscapes and crossroads of great and small hiking. Located between 1300 and 1350 m, this wide circular valley, where torrents converge, is surrounded by peaks exceeding 2000 m altitude such as the peak of Gleize. Here reign a rich and varied fauna and a flora which enrich this site classified Natura 2000.
To reach Chaudun from the Gleize pass, hikers have the choice: in family mode by the forest road in the heart of a coniferous forest crossing the passes of the Middle, the highest point of the route to 1738 m, and Chabanottes (1663 m). The most experienced can follow the path of Ronde to a crossing of vast alpine pastures where the mouflons will observe their heights, unless it is a golden eagle.
2 versions of the walk are proposed including one familial.
Toutourisme : The dogs are welcome in the Natura 2000 areas. Make sure they do not interfere with the local fauna.
The wetlands of the Piles
Located in La Saulce, easily accessible by car and bus, is a site managed by the LPO PACA. This site is composed of different habitats : alluvial forest, reed bed, pond, hay meadow ... Just follow the dragonflies and be guided by the educational panels.
Indeed, along the path have been installed explanatory panels that inform you about the habitats and species of the site.
In early spring, you will have the opportunity to observe the fauna and flora that wake up after long winter months.
This site has a high biodiversity with 22 species of identified dragonflies but also amphibians, mammals and birds.
A recommended family outing where everyone will learn something.
Test your knowledge with the little games that are offered during this ride.