© Gregory Cassiau
The waterfalls and the Cirque de St Même

The fauna and flora

The Cirque de St Même is a gateway to the Hauts de Chartreuse Nature Reserve and on site, we can already observe many species of fauna and flora, some of which are very curious or emblematic. Here is a little preview :

The cirque fauna

The “cincle plongeur”

Small, stocky and plump bird that prefers mountain torrents, it is also distinguished by its way of behaving: it is able to dive, swim, and even walk on water! You will be able to observe it along the Guiers (the river which crosses the Cirque): a small brown ball with a white glow which flies by skimming the water to perch on a rock a little further? It’s him !

Fox

When the Circus regains its original tranquility at nightfall, the fox comes out of its burrow and takes possession of the premises. Lively and mischievous, it catches small rodents and will certainly also nibble on the crumbs of sandwiches eaten at noon by visitors.

The Royal Eagle

A pair of eagles nest in the cliffs of the Cirque de St Even. You may be able to observe it if you equip yourself with binoculars. Sensitive to human presence, it is protected and certain activities are prohibited near its breeding grounds.

The “Chevechette” owl

This adorable owl is one of the smallest in the world (around 15cm tall). Unlike its congeners, this owl is rather born there. It consumes small birds which it hunts in flight.

The cirque flora

The Lys Martagon

This tall flower which can measure up to 1 m is emblematic of the Alps. It blooms in June / July, on the wooded and cool slopes of Cirque de St Même. Note, this lily is a protected species, it is therefore strictly forbidden to pick it (only with the eyes).

The “Sabot de Venus”

Another emblematic flower of the Alps, which grows at the Cirque de St Même: Le Sabot de Vénus. Largest orchid in Europe, it is recognizable thanks to its yellow “hoof” and its brown “petals”. There too, it is a protected species whose collection is prohibited.

The Dryas octopetala

A scientific name which means “dryad with eight petals” and which one more commonly calls the “Tea of ​​the Alps”. His particuliarity ? She likes to grow at the foot of waterfalls. Those of the Cirque de St Même in particular!