The Park was created in 1979 . Its area is 68500 hectares in central zone and 136500 hectares in peripheral zone.
<ul><li>The Alpine glaciers which are the closest to the Mediterranean are more than 2700 m high . The National park is encircled by 3 big mounts: </li></ul><ul><li>The Mounier (2818 m) </li></ul><ul><li>The Tourainet (2087 m) </li></ul><ul><li>The Authion (2079 m) </li></ul>
There are many different «prestigious» species (ibex, golden eagle) but also insects (e.g Butterfly : Small Apollon) 53 vertebrate species are threatened. The wolf is the symbol of the park (introduced in 1993)
The National Park of Mercantour has 2000 plants (4200 plants are known in France). In 2000, 220 were considered very rare (saxifrage with numerous flowers )
The park is visited by more than 800 000 visitors each year. Tourists like hiking or skiing for example. They go and admire the valley of marvels with its 40, 000 prehistoric paintings.The lake of the Allos is the biggest lake in Europe.