Each year by 15 December, the rangers install special signs designating the “resting area for wildlife” (Photo credits: RNNHCJ).
During the course of the seasons the wildlife of the Natural Reserve is subjected to periods which are particularly challenging to its well-being.
- In winter, wildlife can be weakened by the extreme climatic conditions. Food supply diminishes and the cold reduces their activity. Wildlife survives by conserving energy.
- In the spring, the melting snow and the milder temperatures promote the growth of vegetation. This period of renewed growth in turn stimulates the resumption of activity among wildlife: It is the season for mating rituals, calls and songs and the quest for a mate and the defence of territory. Reproduction and raising of young are important stages in the continuance and viability of the species but are also periods of vulnerability for them.
Disturbance of wildlife linked to outdoor activities can have irreversible consequences on sensitive species, notably on the Capercaillie. Mortality linked to stress and the expending of energy needed to take flight in winter can cause failure to breed and abandonment of nests during brooding periods.
In order to ensure the peace and quiet of wildlife, a prefectural decree established Resting Areas for Wildlife (Zones de Quiétude de la Faune Sauvage- ZQFS). In these zones, outdoor activity of any sort (on foot, on snow-shoes or on skis) is strictly prohibited from December 15th to 30th June. (From December 15th to May 15th on the Platières site).
However, specially marked trails are open to the public during this period. These trails have been devised to limit disturbance thus reconciling the continued enjoyment of human outdoor activities with the conservation of wildlife. It is strictly forbidden to leave these marked trails.
Signage is present on the Reserve to indicate the Resting Areas for Wildlife (Zones de Quietude de la Faune Sauvage).