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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Located in the south of the Massif Central, the Cévennes Biosphere Reserve and National Park encompasses some very different landscapes such as the limestone ‘causses’, the granite massifs of Aigoual and of Mont Lozère and the schist mountains of the Cévennes. The geology of the area and the presence of man since the Neolithic have led to the current biological richness. Habitats include beech, oak, pine and fir forests, Mediterranean scrublands, high altitude grasslands, rivers and peat lands.
This vast territory has one of the lowest population densities in France (40,600 inhabitants in 1998). However, about 800,000 tourists annually visit this rural region (1998). A rich network of ecomuseums and visitor centers provides environmental education to tourists. Apart from tourism, agriculture and mining are the main economic activities.
The great diversity of the Cévennes is dependent on human activity. The decline in agricultural activities has reduced the grazing pressure, with the result that many previously open areas and grasslands are being invaded by ligneous plants. This is the reason why the biosphere reserve aims in particular to support rural activities such as setting up maintenance contracts for farmers, providing grants for the restoration of farm buildings, maintaining old breeds (Aubrac cattle, Raïole sheep), labeling meet products, restoring long-abandoned chestnut groves and managing hunting and forestry.
This biosphere reserve is twinned with the Montseny Biosphere Reserve in the Catalonian region of northeastern Spain and cooperates closely in research, training and education activities.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands; Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Broadleaf forest including beech (Fagus sylvatica), silver birch (Betula pendula), oak (Quercus pubescens and Q. ilex) and sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa); coniferous forest dominated by scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Salzmann’s pine (P. clusiana ssp. salzmanni) and silver fir (Abies alba); heather (Calluna vulgaris) dominated moorland; grassland; bogs including Sphagnum species; rocky outcrops and cliffs; water courses
  Location   44°20'N; 3°40'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   323,000
  Core area(s)   14,000
  Buffer zone(s)   63,000
  Transition area(s) when given   246,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   Maximum 1,700
  Year designated   1984
  Administrative authorities   Parc National des Cévennes
  Brief description   Research under park management anticipate maintaining an equilibrium between human activities and the environment
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   n.a.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Sustainable development/Sustainable use.
  Contact address   Didier Lecuyer
Réserve de biosphère des Cévennes, Parc national des Cévennes
Château de Florac - B.P. 15
48400 FLORAC
  Telephone   (33) (0) 4 66 60 55 71
  Contact address    
Parc National des Cévennes
Château de Florac - B.P. 15
48400 FLORAC
  Telephone   (33) (0) 4 66 49 53 00
  Fax   (33) (0) 4 66 49 53 02
  Web site

Last updated: 22/07/2009

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