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Natura 2000 : Careï Valley - Castillon hills

Mountain pass, Crest, Cliff, Uplands, Mountain, River, Viewpoint in Castillon
  • Located in the easternmost part of the Alpes-Maritimes, the territory of the site has the peculiarity of being relatively close to the Mediterranean and of having peaks culminating at more than 1000 m of altitude, favouring a strong biodiversity.

  • The Careï, the main river in the territory, has its source at the Col de Castillon and flows into Menton after 9 km.

    The site "Valley of Careï-collines de Castillon" has natural habitats, exceptional flora and fauna. Out of 47 natural habitats identified, there are 14 habitats of community interest, including 4 priority. Calcareous or basiphilic rocky lawns of the Alysso-Sedion albi (6110) and substeppe grassy and annual routes of the Thero-Brachypodietea (6220). Petrifying springs with...
    The Careï, the main river in the territory, has its source at the Col de Castillon and flows into Menton after 9 km.

    The site "Valley of Careï-collines de Castillon" has natural habitats, exceptional flora and fauna. Out of 47 natural habitats identified, there are 14 habitats of community interest, including 4 priority. Calcareous or basiphilic rocky lawns of the Alysso-Sedion albi (6110) and substeppe grassy and annual routes of the Thero-Brachypodietea (6220). Petrifying springs with travertine formation and alluvial forests of Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior. Also noteworthy are the thermomediterranean and presteppe thickets (5330), a rare habitat in France of great biogeographical interest, as well as the forests with Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia (9340), whose flowering ash woods are only present in the Alpes-Maritimes department in France.

    Habitats linked to human activity are also important in their role as refuge for chiropterans in particular. The site is home to several rare and endemic animal and plant species.
    Among the most remarkable are the Ligurian Gentian, the Bertoloni's Ancolie and the Nice's Nivéole, a species endemic to the coastline of the Franco-Italian Maritime Alps of a very limited area. Two populations of the Nice Loop are present on the site: the Castillon population is a very localised population isolate inland; the Menton population represents the easternmost stations of the species.

    The fauna is equally remarkable. Among the many species present are the important colonies of the Great Rhinolophe and the Greater Rhinolophe and Murin with scalloped ears for chiropterans. The site is also home to important populations of Strinati's Spelerpès, an amphibian endemic to the extreme south-east, as well as two European Phyllodactyl stations, among the only French continental populations. Concerning insects, the site represents a very important interest for the Red Cedar Moth, which is very rare and localised on the French scale. Finally, the stakes related to the malacological fauna are very high on the site, which shelters in its perimeter and its immediate surroundings many species of molluscs that are heritage and/or protected. Some of them are distinguished by their extreme rarity, their strict endemism and their relictual character.

    Vulnerability :
    This site, close to the coast, must be preserved from over-visitation in order to maintain the functional integrity of the habitats.
  • Environment
    • Mountain view
    • Close to GR footpath
    • Panoramic view
    • In the country
    • Forest location
  • Spoken languages
    • French
Services
  • Equipment
    • Car park
    • Free car park
  • Services
    • Educational visits
Openings
Openings
  • All year 2022
    Opened Everyday
  • * Subject to favorable weather
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