On the Lookout for BiodiversityLevels 1 and 2

Let's be on the lookout for biodiversity in the heart of the Alps, and ask ourselves: do mountain animals and plants change when wolves return? Do (...) Further Details

On the Lookout for BiodiversityLevels 1 and 2

Let's be on the lookout for biodiversity in the heart of the Alps, and ask ourselves: do mountain animals and plants change when wolves return? Do (...) Further Details

Biodiversity - 7 or 15 days - Switzerland
Science camps which could change the world!
Exceptional adventures and real projects for sustainable development

Introduction

Come to val d’Anniviers and dive into the heart of biodiversity!
Incredible insects, like the weird “tic-tac” click beetle; ingenious plants, like orchids that can pass as insects; wonderful birds like wallcreepers, the fuchsia “butterflies” of the mountain: all these wonders of nature will be passed over with a fine-toothed comb by young naturalists for the launch of this large biodiversity-monitoring project.

The stay

You’ll be participating in a real scientific program Science Program
Scientific Program
Be a scientific researcher. Participate in concrete science programs. All this is possible with our nature courses on whales and dolphins in the Azores.
—the first European study about the wolf’s effect on biodiversity! And the youngest participants will study in a fun and imaginative environment.

Do you want to know everything about nature? Like the name of the multicolored butterfly flying from flower to flower, the funny-looking insect with antennae on its nose, the bird singing above your head, or the flower that smells so sweet? To know how to find snakes during the day, attract moths at night, and observe deer in the wee hours of the morning? Create an insect collection or a herbarium and name your discoveries? Learn how to create an inventory of fauna (animals) and flora (plants) like a scientist? And of course, would you like to feel the thrill of knowing you’re in wolf and lynx country, all while trekking in a valley with a splendid view, and with five glacier-covered peaks at over 4,000 meters of altitude? If you answered yes, then this trip is for you!

You might come to make all these fascinating discoveries, but we won’t just be doing it for the sense of wonder it evokes. We’ll be studying one of the most important things for humanity—what allows us to have food, clothing, clean water, and life’s wonderful things, yet that we know even less about than the stars in our galaxy: it’s biodiversity!

Though biodiversity is simply the diversity of the world around us, its enormous importance for humanity is now acknowledged by scientists. Yet we only know about a fraction of the Earth’s species, and little about how each of these lives and develops.

Even at our very doorstep here in Europe, what do we know about our own biodiversity? Two great predators have been returning to the Alps (wolves and lynxes), two cornerstone species in ecosystems. Their return will surely have a great effect on the populations of their prey (deer, chamois, etc.) and the management of livestock in alpine pastures. And this will probably have major consequences on the mountains’ animals and plants. But is the return of large predators as beneficial to biodiversity as their defenders say? Or will it lead to the disappearance of certain areas as well as animals and plant species, as opponents to the wolf’s return say?

On the Lookout for Biodiversity!

You can answer these questions by joining us on a trip to go “on the lookout for biodiversity”! We’ll become investigators with one mission: monitoring biodiversity in the val d’Anniviers mountains year after year and trying to analyze its evolution. We’ll examine all aspects of nature and study plants, insects, birds, and large mammals, but also snakes, frogs, spiders, and ferns!

If you’re curious about everything, you can become a naturalist of all trades and learn not only how to capture and identify butterflies, but also how to discover rare birds, track deer, and make casts of animal prints!

Would you rather specialize? The choice is yours!
- Become an ornithologist and devote yourself to birds, the treetop acrobats!
- Become a botanist and inventory plants and flowers in val d’Anniviers!
- Become an entomologist and embark on the amazing challenge of taking a census of the sector’s insects!

We’re inviting you to attend a true school of nature, where science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. educators who are also real, practicing naturalists will guide you through the wonders of nature!

Concepts Learned during the Camp

Ecosystems - Population biology - Presence index - Animal monitoring - Transects - Samples - Ornithology - Botany - Entomology - Mammalogy - Herpetology - Mycology - Natural areas - Biological community - Inventorying biodiversity - Sampling - Counting - Identification - Reference collection - Key

Equipment Used

Topographic map - Dip net (kick net) - Butterfly net - Herbarium - Binoculars - Field loupe - Binocular loupe - Spotting scope - Digital photography - Insect traps - GPS - Identification keys - Camera trap - Casting footprints - Field book - Sweeping net - Japanese umbrella - Sample jar

The location

This panorama shows the summits located above our lodgings. It’ll take your breath away, but make sure to keep some of it—you’ll need it to go skiing!

Double click to see in full size



The village of Saint-Luc is in val d’Anniviers, a charming valley in the Valais canton in Switzerland. The raccards and granaries give Saint-Luc very particular architecture that is completely adapted to the specific conditions of mountain life.

The peaks nearby soar over 3,000 meters, and 4 are even over 4,000 meters! We can gaze upon the Cervin (Matterhorn), Switzerland’s most famous mountain. The valley’s rich geology is due to, among other things, the formation of the Alps. In the eighteenth century, there was a lot of mining in the area (copper, nickel, silver, lead). Today, you can visit certain mines with Objectif Sciences International, particularly in the summer with the “Treasure of the Mines” camp.

It’s picturesque year-round. Whether you’re gazing out the window or going on a stroll, the lakes, mountain passes, summits, and pastures are breathtaking. There are still many glaciers, like the Moiry; during the summer, we’ll be camping at its base.
During our outings with biologists from the “Alps Tracker” camp, we’ll follow the trail of Alps wildlife—everything from chamois and deer to ermines and grouse, and maybe even… wolves!


In the winter, Saint-Luc/Chandolin is a large ski resort where both beginners and more experienced people can ski or snowboard. They have:

  • guaranteed snow cover thanks to snow cannons
  • 75 km of ski trails
  • 1 cable car, 2 chairlifts, 13 platter lifts
  • 1 snowpark
  • 1 3.5-km luge track
  • free shuttle buses


Accomodation

Our lodgings in val d’Anniviers will be at the Grand Hôtel du Cervin. Built in 1883, this magnificent hotel dates back to the romantic period of the Alps. Valais has now given the building historical status. The hotel is right in the heart of Saint-Luc, giving us easy access to the ski slopes in the wintertime and hiking trails in summer. We can also easily catch the La Poste Suisse bus, which travels to all the important parts of the valley.

The inside of the Grand Hôtel du Cervin has been regularly maintained since it was built, and was renovated while respecting the history and architecture of the building. We’ll be staying in rooms for four, which include two bunk beds in the children’s room, and a double bed in the parents’ room. This large building has lots of space for our activities, or just for leisure.

Meals are mostly traditional, from Swiss mountain cuisine to Italian dishes. We’ll be having a traditional raclette once a week. We’ll bask in the heart of Swiss culture within the warm, family-like atmosphere of this historical hotel.


Val d’Anniviers is south of Sierre (Switzerland), southeast of the Valais canton. Valais is east of Lake Geneva, past Geneva and Lausanne.

To join us on this trip, you can:

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