Mont Ventoux (1,909 meters above sea level) is located in-between the Alpine massif to the north and the Mediterranean massifs to the south and comprises a diverse relief with a mosaic of microclimates and habitats.
The mountain hosts an exceptional floristic and faunistic richness thanks to its intermediate position between the Mediterranean and the Alps and the orientation of its slopes. The Ventoux summit is exceptionally rich in flora, with some sixty rare species. In the surrounding area, a great variety of trees can be found, notably the beech and juniper.
Designation Date: 1990
Administrative Authorities: Le SMAEMV
Surface area (terrestrial): 89,408 ha
Core area(s): 2,126 ha
Buffer area(s): 26,830 ha
Transition area(s): 60,452 ha
Centre Point: 44º 5'N - 5º 16'E
In the heart of the calcareous Provence, at the crossroads of the Alps, the Massif Central and the Rhone Valley, the Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve is truly a natural and cultural synopsis of the Alps to the Mediterranean. This isolated mountain is a centre of passage and contact, with its peak at 1,912 m harbouring a curious phenomenon of biological “telescoping.”
The natural habitats and species of Mediterranean and Alpine origin are found side by side in a paradoxical and
original fashion. This enormous biodiversity gives rise to extremely important challenges to nature conservation.
Over 1200 species of flora have been identified in the Biosphere Reserve, some of which are endemic to Ventoux (Acis fabrei, Silene petrarchae), over 1,400 species of butterflies (30% of the species found in France). Over 120 species of nesting birds (Golden Eagle, Peregrine Hawk, Sardinian Warbler, Boreal or Tengmalm's Owl...). Following reintroduction and strengthening of the population, large fauna can also to be found, such as the Chamois, Red Deer, Mouflon, Roe Deer …).
Marked by an ancient rural civilization, the Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve provides a vast historic, religious, architectural, artistic and linguistic heritage. The archaeological heritage is rich and diverse with bones, flint and polished stone tools and utensils and pottery from Gallo-Roman times.
At present human activities are still of a traditional nature, with agriculture (vine-growing, stock-raising, aromatic plants) occupying an important place in local socioeconomic life.
The Biosphere Reserve is also aiming at nature tourism (ecotourism) and discovery of the cultural heritage.
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Last updated: February 2015