Wildlife

 

One part of the Clermontais territory is in a classified Natura 2000 zone, allowing thus for the protection of a great number of animal species, such as the Montpellier grass snake, the bat, the Bonelli eagle, and numerous other botanical species.

Please have respect for the place you are in ; don’t make fires, don’t collect plants, and stay on the pathways. The Natura 2000 network is made up of a group of land and marine nature sites, identified for their rare or fragile wildlife, animals or plants, and their habitations. It combines the protection of nature with socio-economic concerns.

Around the lake

In 1969, the Salagou valley was flooded with water thereby transforming its aridity into an aquatic world. From then on, the vegetation on the banks has used the abundance of water and turned into trees strewn along the sides, plunging their roots into the lake. Poplars, willows and ash trees now hang over the reeds. In spring the bright yellow water irises burst open in the sun. In the over-heated “ruffes”, now living among the perennials and the shrubs are the praying mantis, the Languedoc scorpion and the grass-snake of Montpellier. It is in theses galleries or under stones that such creatures find a favourable environment.

In the lake

Herbs that grow on the borders with the reeds are what make up the food basics for many of the fish. Predators such as pikes, pike-perches and perches complete the food chain. The majority of these species were put there by man. The birds on the other hand, have spontaneously made this environment their refuge. First of all, the Great Crested Grebe lives there all year round, and then the Great Reed Warbler which is actually a big Warbler that comes from the Gabon around the month of May to nest in the weeds. The Great Cormorant from the northern countries finds the Salagou to be a welcoming stretch of water in which to spend the winter, as the lake never freezes. It is in April that this bird migrates back towards the North.

Because its eco-system is completely artificial, the lake Salagou is for the moment a haven for the species that come from these other places. In the long term, it is more than likely that this specific environment will attract new plants and animals.

At Mourèze, the particular kind of erosion that the dolomite calcareous leaves is a very fine and draining sand called “grésou”. These environments bathed in light have a mixture of species from the Mediterranean and the limestone plateaus (Armeria Girardii), a discrete wildlife of small reptiles, the “pichou” (warbler) perched on the rosemary shrubs, the “Fauvette pichou” (blue rock thrush) hopping over the ruined shapes of the rocks, or the Circaète Jean le blanc (short-toed eagle) nesting in the woods close by.

Pictures

Baby pike at the lake Salagou - JPEG - 106 kb
Baby pike at the lake Salagou

Crédit Philippe Martin

A euphorbe of Nice at the edge of the lake - JPEG - 104.2 kb
A euphorbe of Nice at the edge of the lake

Crédit Philippe Martin

A dwarf iris on a « ruffe » carpet - JPEG - 163.5 kb
A dwarf iris on a « ruffe » carpet

Crédit Philippe Martin

A martin fisherman at the edge of the Salagou - JPEG - 68.3 kb
A martin fisherman at the edge of the Salagou

Crédit Philippe Martin

A pike at the lake Salagou - JPEG - 44.7 kb
A pike at the lake Salagou

Crédit Philippe Martin

Heather bushes at the Cirque de Mourèze - JPEG - 150.2 kb
Heather bushes at the Cirque de Mourèze

Crédit Fusioline

A carp at the lake Salagou - JPEG - 54.3 kb
A carp at the lake Salagou

Crédit Philippe Martin

Crawfish at the Salagou - JPEG - 117.1 kb
Crawfish at the Salagou

Crédit Fusioline

The genet scorpion - JPEG - 91.9 kb
The genet scorpion

Crédit Philippe Martin

The juniper cade - JPEG - 186.3 kb
The juniper cade

Crédit Philippe Martin

The ocellated lizard - JPEG - 196.4 kb
The ocellated lizard

Crédit Philippe Martin

A praying mantis - JPEG - 112.2 kb
A praying mantis

Crédit Philippe Martin

Flowering Rosemary - JPEG - 107 kb
Flowering Rosemary

Crédit Philippe Martin

 

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