Vanoise National Park

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Vanoise National Park
Parc national de la Vanoise
IUCN category II (national park)
Vanoise National Park.JPG
Vanoise National Park near the Col de la Vanoise
Location Savoie, France
Nearest city Modane
Bourg Saint Maurice
Coordinates 45°20′N 6°50′E / 45.333°N 6.833°E / 45.333; 6.833Coordinates: 45°20′N 6°50′E / 45.333°N 6.833°E / 45.333; 6.833
Established 1963

Vanoise National Park (French: Parc national de la Vanoise), is a French national park between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps, created in 1963. It was the first French national park. This park is in the département of Savoie. Little villages like Champagny-le-Haut, Termignon, La Chiserette, Bramans, Sollières-Sardières, Friburge and Séez are near this park.

The park is bordered by several large French ski resorts (Les Trois Vallées, Tignes, Val-d'Isère, Les Arcs, La Plagne). On the Italian side of the border, the park is continued by the Gran Paradiso National Park. Together, these two parks cover over 1250 km² making the largest alpine national park.


Ibex on rocky ridgeline

The park is well known for its population of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), bouquetin in French, which is its emblem. The alpine chamois, like the ibex, spend most of the year above the tree line. They descend the snow line in early spring and late fall to enjoy the grass uncovered by the ice and snow. Alpine marmot, wolf, Eurasian lynx, mountain hare, Eurasian badger, ermine and weasel are the other mammals commonly present in Vanoise.

There are more than 100 bird species in the protected area. Birds of prey include bearded vulture, golden eagle and Eurasian eagle-owl. Other birds found in the park are black woodpeckers, rock ptarmigans, Alpine accentors, nutcrackers, choughs and black grouses. The wallcreeper is found on steep cliffs especially for nesting.

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