Réunion is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506; the island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848, when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies; however on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946; as in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.
Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin; the island is featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island might have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar; the first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509. By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia untouched.
The island was occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar; the convicts were returned to France several years and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665. "Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon".
When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved; the colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers; the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route. During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard. Réunion became a département d'outre-mer of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which became overseas regions.
Over about two decades in the late 20th century, 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006; the neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year.
A few cases appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mo
Guadeloupe is an insular region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Administratively, it is an overseas region consisting of a single overseas department. With a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and an estimated population of 400,132 as of January 2015, it is the largest and most populous European Union territory in North America. Guadeloupe's main islands are Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, the Îles des Saintes. Guadeloupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France; as a constituent territory of the European Union and the Eurozone, the euro is its official currency and any European Union citizen is free to settle and work there indefinitely. As an overseas department, however, it is not part of the Schengen Area; the official language is French, but Antillean Creole is spoken by the entire population except recent arrivals from metropolitan France. The island is called "Gwadada" by the locals.
The island was called "Karukera" by the Arawak people, who settled on there in the year 300. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe. Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and phonology. Archaeological evidence indicates that between 800 and 1000 AD drought led to a period with no habitation. Gradual resettlement occurred after 1000 AD. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493. During the 17th century, the Caribs repelled Spanish settlers; the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique delegated Charles Liènard de l'Olive and Jean du Plessis d'Ossonville to colonize one or any of the region's islands, Martinique, or Dominica. They settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, took possession of the island, wiped out many of the natives crushing them in 1641. Tobacco cultivation in the early 1600s was sustained by European laborers. In 1654 80% of the population of Guadeloupe was of European origin.
In the 1600s African slaves were brought in, by 1671 13%. Of the population was of European origin. Guadeloupe produced more sugar than all the British islands combined, worth about £6 million a year; the British captured Guadeloupe in 1759. Britain had seized Canada in the war, debate took place in both Britain and France as to, more valuable, Canada or Guadeloupe. Britain decided Canada, although expensive to maintain, was of greater strategic value and returned Guadeloupe to France in the Treaty of Paris. In 1790, following the French Revolution, monarchists refused to obey the new laws of equal rights for the free people of color and declared independence in 1791. In 1793, a slave rebellion broke out, which made the upper classes turn to the British and ask them to occupy the island. Britain seized Guadeloupe in April 1794. In December 1794, republican governor Victor Hugues used military force, helped by the slave population, to force the British to surrender. Hugues ended slavery, but in 1802, Napoleon I of France restored it, sending a force to recapture the island.
In 1810 the British again seized the island. In the Treaty of Paris of 1814, Sweden ceded Guadeloupe to France, giving rise to the Guadeloupe Fund; the Treaty of Vienna definitively acknowledged French control of Guadeloupe. In 1848, slavery was abolished. Slaves were replaced by indentured servants imported from India to work in the sugar fields. An earthquake in 1843 caused the La Soufrière volcano to erupt. Guadeloupe lost 12,000 of its 150,000 residents in the cholera epidemic of 1865–66. In 1925, after the trial of Henry Sidambarom French nationality and the vote was granted to Indian citizens. In 1946, the colony of Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France. In 2007 the island communes of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy were detached from Guadeloupe and became two separate French overseas collectivities with their own local administration. In January 2009, labour unions and others known as the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon went on strike for more pay; the strike lasted 44 days. Tourism suffered during this time and affected the 2010 tourist season as well.
The 2009 French Caribbean general strikes exposed deep ethnic and class tensions and disparities within Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe is an archipelago of more than 12 islands, as well as islets and rocks situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean, it is in the Leeward Islands, in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, an island arc a volcanic arc. Most of the inhabitants live on a pair of islands, Basse-Terre Island and Grande-Terre, which form a butterfly shape, viewed from above, the two wings of which are separated by a narrow sea channel, the Salée River. More than half of Guadeloupe's land surface is on Basse-Terre. Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains. La Grande Soufrière is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, with an elevation of 1,467 metres; the adjacent islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante are under jurisdiction of Guadeloupe. The Lesser Antilles are at the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate.
Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the Atlantic Plate under the Caribbean Plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. This process is responsible for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. Guadeloupe was formed from multiple volcanoes. There is an act
Mercantour National Park
Mercantour National Park a French national park located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes departments. Since it was created in 1979, the Mercantour Park has proven popular, with 800,000 visitors every year enjoying the 600 km of marked footpaths and visiting its villages; the protected area covers some 685 km², consisting of a central uninhabited zone comprising seven valleys: Roya, Bévéra, Vésubie, Tinée, Haut Var and Cians plus Verdon and Ubaye, a peripheral zone comprising 28 villages. Many of them are perched villages, such as Belvédère at the entrance to the spectacular Gordolasque valley, concealing great architectural riches. More than 150 rural sites are located within the Park. Around Mont Bégo there are petroglyphs pecked out on granite faces, they have been dated from Bronze Ages. In the heart of this setting of vertiginous summits, lies a gem listed as a Historical Monument, the famous Vallée des Merveilles, the aptly named "valley of marvels". At the foot of Mont Bégo, climbers can admire some 37,000 petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age, representing weapons and human figures that are sometimes mysterious.
A less challenging destination is the Musée des Merveilles at Tende. Several lakes can be visited, for example the lake of Allos, the lake of the Lauzanier, the lakes of Vens, the lakes of Morgon, the lakes of the valley of marvels. In addition to the holm oak, the Mediterranean olive tree, firs, Swiss pines and above all larches, the Mercantour is endowed with more than 2,000 species of flowering plants, 200 of which are rare: edelweiss and martagon lily are the best known, but there is saxifrage with multiple flowers, moss campion and gentian offering a multi-coloured palette in the spring; the Mercantour is the site of a large-scale All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory and Monitoring programme to identify all its living species, organised by the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy. Walkers may glimpse a chamois, several thousand of which live in the park and may hear the whistling of marmots; the ermine is rarer, as is the ibex and the mouflon, although with a little luck you may be able to observe them during the coolest parts of the day in the summer.
There is a tremendous variety of wildlife in the Mercantour: red deer and roe deer in the undergrowth and wild boars, golden eagles and buzzards, numerous species of butterflies and about 50 Italian wolves. A Wolves Centre welcomes visitors in Saint-martin-Vésubie. List of national parks of France Official website
Ardèche is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. It is named after the Ardèche River and had a population of 320,379 as of 2013, its largest cities are Aubenas, Guilherand-Granges, Tournon-sur-Rhône and Privas. The area has been inhabited by humans at least since the Upper Paleolithic, as attested by the famous cave paintings at Chauvet Pont d'Arc; the plateau of the Ardèche river has extensive standing stones, erected thousands of years ago. The river has the largest canyon in Europe and the caves that dot the cliffs—which go as high as 300 metres —are known for signs of prehistoric inhabitants; the Vivarais, as the Ardèche is still called, takes its name and coat-of-arms from Viviers, the capital of the Gaulish tribe of Helvii, part of Gallia Narbonensis, after the destruction of their previous capital at Alba-la-Romaine. Saint Andéol, a disciple of Polycarp, is supposed to have evangelized the Vivarais during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus, was martyred in 208.
Legend tells of Andéol's burial by Amycia Eucheria Tullia. In 430, Auxonius transferred the see to Viviers as a result of the problems suffered at its previous site in Alba Augusta; the area of the Vivarais suffered in the 9th century with raids from Magyar and Saracen slavers operating from the coast of Provence resulting in an overall depopulation of the region. In the early 10th century, economic recovery saw the building of many Romanesque churches in the region including Ailhon, Saint Julien du Serre, Balazuc, Niègles and Rochecolombe; the medieval county of Viviers or Vivarais at this time was administratively a part of the Kingdom of Arles, formed in 933 with the fusion by Rudolph II of Burgundy of the realms of Provence and Burgundy and bequeathed by its last monarch Rudolph III of Burgundy to the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II in 1032. Locally throughout this period, the Church played an important role. John II, Cardinal and Bishop of Viviers, accompanied Pope Urban II to the Council of Clermont.
It was held in fief by the Counts of Toulouse, who lost it to the French crown in 1229. In 1284, with the Cistercian Abbey of Marzan, Philip IV established Villeneuve de Berg, by the treaty of 10 July 1305 Philip IV of France obliged the bishops of Vivarais to admit the sovereignty of the Kings of France over all their temporal domain; the realm was ignored by the Emperors and was granted to France as part of the domain of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of Valois in 1308. During this period, the Maillard family, as Counts of Tournon, were influential in the Ardèche. During the Hundred Years War, the area maintained its loyalty to the French crown, despite frequent attacks from the west; as a result of the reformation of John Calvin in Geneva, the Vivarais Ardèche was one of the areas which embraced Protestantism as a result of the missionary activity of 1534 by Jacques Valery. During the following Wars of Religion, the Ardèche was considered a strategically important location between Protestant Geneva and Catholic Languedoc.
The region had prospered with the introduction of tobacco growing from America, the agrarian experiments of Olivier de Serres, father of modern French agriculture. The influence of Protestant Lyon, the growth of the silk industry, thanks to the planting of mulberry trees, had given the burghers of the Vivarais towns a certain independence of thinking, with the support of powerful Protestant Huguenots, the Vivarais became a Protestant stronghold; as a result, it suffered many attacks and eight pitched battles between 1562 and 1595. In 1598, the Edict of Nantes put an end to these struggles. At that time, the Vivarais had over 75 Protestant churches and five fortified strongholds with permanent garrisons. However, the problems of the area were not over. In 1629, Paule de Chambaud, daughter of the Huguenot lord of Privas, chose instead to marry a Catholic, the Vicomte de l'Estrange, who supported the persecution of Protestants by Cardinal Richelieu. Privas, with a majority of the population Protestant, refused to submit, as a centre of the revolt of the Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise, was burned to the ground by the forces of Louis XIII, sent to support the Vicomte de l'Estrange.
As a result, one-fifth of the Protestant population of the Vivarais emigrated. The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which outlawed Protestantism, resulted in the peasant family of Marie and Pierre Durand leading a revolt against royal authority; this led to the Camisard revolt of the Ardèche prophets. Louis XIV responded by dispatching Dragoons, who brutalised the population by "dragonnades", destroying a number of communities; the brutality of those years was enormous and peace was only restored in 1715. As a result of brutality on both sides, a further 50,000 Archèche Protestants left France, many fleeing to Switzerland, whilst others were forced into abjuration. In the following century, despite the growth of the community of Annonay, an increasing polarisation between the upper nobility families such as Rohan Soubise, Vogue, Count of Aubenas, possessing huge financial fortunes, the lesser nobility, the village clergy and the bourgeoisie of the Vivarais paralleled developments elsewhere in France.
Despite this, the sons of a local Annonay paper-maker and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier ascended in the first hot air balloon over the town on 4 June 1783. The firm of Canson Mongolfier continues making paper to this day and on the anniversary every year on the first weekend in June a large
Army Museum (Paris)
The Musée de l'Armée is a national military museum of France located at Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is served by Paris Métro stations Invalides, La Tour-Maubourg; the Musée de l'Armée was created in 1905 with the merger of the Musée d'Artillerie and the Musée Historique de l'Armée. The museum's seven main spaces and departments contain collections that span the period from antiquity through the 20th century; the Musée de l'Armée was created in 1905 with the merger of the Musée d'Artillerie and the Musée Historique de l'Armée. The Musée de l'artillerie was founded in 1795 in the aftermath of the French Revolution, expanded under Napoleon, it was moved into the Hôtel des Invalides in 1871 following the Franco-Prussian War and the proclamation of the Third Republic. Another institution called the Musée historique de l'Armée was created in 1896 following the Paris World Fair; the two institutions merged in 1905 within the space of the former Musée de l'Artillerie. Today, it holds 500,000 artifacts, including weapons, artillery, uniforms and paintings, exhibited in an area of 12,000 m².
The permanent collections are organised into "historical collections", representing a chronological tour from ancient times through the end of World War II. In March 1878, the museum hosted an "ethnographic exhibition", as it was called, which represented the main "types" of Oceania, America and Africa. Dummies representing people from the colonies, along with weapons and equipment, were the main attraction; the exhibit, organised by Colonel Le Clerc, attempted to demonstrate theories of unilineal evolution, putting the European man at the apex of human history. Parts of this collection began to be transferred to the Ethnographic Museum of the Trocadéro in 1910 and in 1917. All remnants were transferred after the Second World War; the Musée de l'Armée has identified 24 aesthetic and symbolic "treasures," which are all linked to French military history from the late Middle Ages through to World War II. They include weapons, works of arts and technology; the museum consists of six main spaces. The Main Courtyard is the centre of the Hôtel National des Invalides and displays a large part of the artillery collections, gathered during the French Revolution.
The collection traces 200 years of the history of French field artillery and enables visitors to discover how the equipment was manufactured, its role and the history of great French artillerymen. Contains: 60 French classical bronze cannons A dozen howitzers and mortars The Musée de l'Armée has a rich ancient collection, which makes it one of the three largest arms museums in the world. Contains: The Royal Room: crown collections The Medieval Room: artifacts from the feudal army to the royal army The Louis XIII Room: the progress of the royal army) A Themed Arsenal Gallery An exhibit on Courtly Leisure Activities some rooms of antique and oriental armament This department covers the military, political and industrial history of France, reliving great battles, exploring the lives of soldiers, tracing the development of technologies and tactics. Contains: Privates' uniforms Luxury weapons and arms Equipment of numerous French and foreign regiments Illustrious figures, such as Napoleon Bonaparte and his marshals The contemporary department tells the story of the French Army from 1871 to 1945, the two great conflicts of the 20th century.
Contains: French and foreign uniforms, including some having belonged to illustrious military leaders Objects used by soldiers in daily life Prestige pieces: marshals' batons and ceremonial swords: Emblems and elements from personal archives: letters, etc. The Charles de Gaulle Monument is an interactive multimedia space dedicated to the work of Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces and founding President of the Fifth Republic. Contains: The Multi-Screen Room The Ring: "an overview of the century" projected onto a circular glass ring The Permanent Exhibition Three cabinets are dedicated to special collections. Contains: Artillery models from the 16th to 19th c. Military music instruments, selected among the 350 of the collection Military figurines, with 5000 toy soldiers displayed on a collection of 140000The Army museum is associated with four additional spaces: The museum is dedicated to the Ordre de la Libération, France's second national order after the Légion d'honneur, created in 1940 by General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces.
Contains three galleries: Free France Interior Resistance Deportation The Musée des Plans-Reliefs is a museum of military models located within the Musée de l'Armée. About 100 models, created between 1668 and 1870, are on display in the museum; the construction of models dates to 1668 when the Marquis de Louvois, minister of war to Louis XIV, began a collection of three-dimensional models of fortified cities for military purposes, kept growing until 1870 with the disappearance of fortifications bastionnées. In 1676, the Secretary of State for War, Marquis de Louvois, entrusted the young architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart with the construction of the chapel, which Libéral Bruant had been unable to complete; the architect designed a building which combined a royal chapel, the "Dôme des Invalides", a veterans' chapel. This way, the King and his soldiers could attend mass while entering the place of worship though different entrances, as prescribed by etiquette; this separation was reinforced in
Port-Cros National Park
Port-Cros National Park is a French national park established on the Mediterranean island of Port-Cros, east of Toulon. It administers natural areas in some surrounding locales, it was founded in 1963. The state is the sole land owner on the island, a natural protected area; the park claims being the first national park in Europe that unites terrestrial and maritime protection zones. The protected area is about 700 hectares of land and 1288 hectares of sea at 600m zone from the coast. Most of the area of the main island Port-Cros as well as the small islands of Bagaud, Gabinière and Rascas are protected. Moreover, about 1000 ha of land on the island of Porquerolles is since 1971 under National Park´s administration. There are strict behavior rules for the few inhabitants as well as daily tourists there. Sea bathing is admitted on three beaches only and smoking or taking dogs can result in an extensive fine
Guadeloupe National Park
Guadeloupe National Park is a national park in Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France located in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean region. The Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve is a marine protected area adjacent to the park and administered in conjunction with it. Together, these protected areas comprise the Guadeloupe Archipelago biosphere reserve; the General Council of Guadeloupe created the Guadeloupe Natural Park in 1970 to recognize the exceptional biodiversity of Basse-Terre's tropical forest and mountain massif. Although it was placed under the management of the National Forests Office, proposals emerged in 1977 to establish a national park, in order to improve management and control of the park lands; these proposals came to fruition on 20 February 1989 with the official establishment of Guadeloupe National Park. The Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve was established in 1987, subsequently placed under the management of the park. In 1992, Guadeloupe National Park achieved international recognition when the core area of the park and the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve were designated as an international biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
For most of its history, it was the only French national park outside of metropolitan France. However, it lost that distinction with the 2007 creation of Réunion National Park and Guiana Amazonian Park; the boundaries of the national park encompass a core area of 173 square kilometres, a buffer zone of 162 square kilometres. The Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve comprises 21 square kilometres marine, 16 square kilometres terrestrial; the core area encompasses 10% of the total territory of Guadeloupe, two-thirds of Basse-Terre's tropical forest, covers a range of elevations from 250 metres to the summit of the mountain massif at 1,467 metres. The highest point in the park is the summit of an active volcano. Other notable peaks include: Échelle, Grand-Sans-Toucher, the twin side-by-side summits of the Mamelles; the park comprises parts of 11 communes: Guadeloupe National Park may broadly be divided into three ecosystem types: The park's tropical rainforest varies in its character and species among several sub-ecosystems, depending on elevation.
The lower elevations of the park's buffer zone support a mesophilic forest, featuring trees such as white and red mahogany and jatobá. This ecologic area is used for agriculture, including banana plantations and other food crops. A montane moist forest covers 80% of the core area of the park, at elevations between 300 m and 1,000 m; this dense and luxuriant ecosystem harbors a great diversity of plant species: large trees that grow above 30 m. The high-elevation forests above 1,000 m are much less dense than the park's other forests, due to the wet conditions and constant cloud cover; these forests resemble savannas. Vegetation in the coastal zone faces the challenges of salinity in the air and soil, intense heat from the sun and its drying effect, the constant wind. Notable plant species in this environment include pear; the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve includes coastal wetland forests that are flooded either permanently or intermittently by fresh or salt water, comprising nearly half of Guadeloupe's mangrove swamps.
Due to intensive hunting during an earlier period in Guadeloupe's history, animal life in the park is limited in diversity and in populations. Some species, including parrots and parakeets, have been eradicated altogether; the park has 17 mammalian species. The most seen mammals in the park are the Guadeloupe raccoon, bats and the endangered agouti. Park authorities plan to reintroduce the manatee, extinct in Guadeloupe for a while; the park's birds are more numerous than mammals, numbering 33 bird species, the visitor may encounter hummingbirds, thrushes, pigeons, tyrant flycatchers, endemic Guadeloupe woodpeckers, others. Some sea turtles are found. Various types of koi fish are visible in the area. Aquatic and marine life includes crabs. Insects are indubitably the most plentiful creatures in the park, their exceptional diversity resulting in a number of surprising forms; some attain great size, such as Hercules beetles, the duppy bats, walking sticks. Among the interesting visitor sites in Guadeloupe National Park are: La Soufrière Carbet Falls the two Mamelles and the Traversée road Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve numerous hiking trails throughout the park National parks of France World Network of Biosphere Reserves World Network of Biosphere Reserves in Latin America and the Caribbean Official site of Guadeloupe National Park Official site of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve UNEP-WCMC data sheet on the core area of the park UNEP-WCMC data sheet on the buffer zone of the park