© Raphaël Surmont

National protected areas of the Haut Val de Bagnes

The districts francs and the various biotope sites of national and regional importance in the Upper Val de Bagnes are Swiss government-protected areas.

But what does that actually mean? These categories indicate that the areas of importance in the Upper Val de Bagnes with its fauna and flora are protected at cantonal and federal levels alike. This is what they consist of:

Federal Inventory of Landscapes

Name:  IFP 1703 Haut Val de Bagnes 

Importance: Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance (IFP)

Total area: 16,768 hectares

Altitude: from 1,560 metres to 4,313 metres

Since 1977, the Haut Val de Bagnes area has been listed in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes (IFP). This currently encompasses 162 classified and protected locations. The aim of IFP listings is to preserve the diversity of Switzerland’s most precious landscapes and monitor their conservation. They establish objectives and record the quality of the various environments, such as the tranquillity and intact character of natural and wild areas in high mountain settings.

Districts francs

Name : District franc fédéral (DFF) and District franc cantonal (DFC)

Numbers: DFF9, DFF9 mixte, DFC 131, 133,134,136 

Importance: Reserves covered by cantonal and federal hunting legislation

Type: Animal refuge and hunting reserve

Federal districts francs have existed since 1875, so that the stock of game animals, particularly ungulates (animals with hoofs), can regenerate, allowing a healthy population to be maintained. Hunting laws must also be observed by hikers and other persons making use of the land. The purpose of the districts francs is to protect species such as the capercaillie, black grouse and ptarmigan, together with their habitats. They are ideal areas for observing the development of wild animal populations, in which hunters can help to control overpopulation.

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