Our mountains are like a special sanctuary for unique plants and animals. If we want to keep enjoying this awesome place and preserve it, here are two easy things to remember:
- Don’t leave your trash behind.
- Exercise discretion and maintain a respectful distance from the local wildlife.
When you’re in the mountains, it’s crucial to stick to the designated trails and avoid taking shortcuts to avoid trampling fragile vegetation. Follow the “Leave No Trace” principle: don’t leave any rubbish behind on the trails, including organic waste (such as egg shells or orange peels), and try not to disturb the natural habitat (this includes not wandering off the trail).
See the Chamonix sustainable mountain page here
Flora and Fauna of the Alps
Nestled within the landscape of the Alps, you’ll discover a range of wildflowers that add their unique charm to this region. Amongst the familiar faces are the resilient Alpine Gentian, showcasing its rich, cobalt-blue blossoms, the vibrant Alpine Anemone, with its delicate white or pink petals dancing gracefully in the mountain breeze, the iconic Edelweiss, known for its fuzzy silver leaves and pure white petals symbolising the Alps’ tough beauty, the friendly Alpine Forget-Me-Not, popping up in bright blue bunches all over the place, and the Purple Saxifrage, a little pink powerhouse that somehow manages to thrive in the rocky nooks and crannies. Together, these pretty flowers paint a picture of nature’s beauty, transforming the Alps into a wildflower paradise.
Wildlife of the Alps
In the Alps, wildlife thrives;
- Alpine Ibex: The Alpine ibex (bouquetin) a subspecies of the ibex, is a true icon of the Mont Blanc region. With their impressive, curved horns and distinctive beard, they can often be found on steep slopes and rocky ledges.
- Chamois: Known for their sure-footedness and graceful leaps, chamois can be found traversing the alpine meadows and rocky terrain of the high mountains. Look for their distinctive short, hooked horns and light brown coat.
- Golden Eagle: As the king of the alpine skies, the golden eagle can often be seen soaring high above the mountain peaks along the trek. Keep watch for their massive wingspan and golden-brown plumage.
- Marmots: These adorable and sociable creatures are a common sight in the meadows and rocky areas of the the Alps. Listen for their distinctive high-pitched whistles and keep an eye out for their plump, brown bodies.
- Alpine Deer: Keep a lookout for alpine deer in forested areas, open meadows, and the transition zones between different habitats. Be alert for movement or rustling sounds and scan the landscape for these magnificent animals.
- Alpine Cows: originating from the Alps region, known for its adaptability to mountainous terrain and its production of high-quality milk used in cheese making. You’ll hear the clanging of bells before you see them!
- Patou: Alpine sheepdogs… be warned! These cute looking Pyrenees mountain dogs also known as Patou’s are very territorial sheepdogs and can become aggressive if these steps are now followed. 1. Avoid the flock 2. Stay calm 3. Avoid confrontational behaviour 4. Do not try and stroke the sheep!
These animals they are emblematic of the wildlife found in the Alpine environment of the Tour du Mont Blanc. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready to capture these remarkable creatures during your journey!