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The river

The speed of the current, the purity and depth of a watercourse determine the types of flora and fauna which live there.

In the rivers with a slow-flowing current like the Ouysse, you find species such as the Yellow Water-lily and rarer plants like the Fries Pondweed (endangered species) and the Floating Water Plantain (protected species).

 The fast-flowing stretches of the Lot, Dordogne and Célé are home to fish adapted to the current like Brown (Fario) Trout, Common Minnows and the Bull Head.

 In the Lot and the Célé, in order to reproduce, the pike makes use of stretches once created to turn water mills.

 Because of the diversity of its aquatic habitats, the Dordogne has the most varied fauna. In addition, the installation of fish ladders and lifts where there are dams has enabled the great migratory species (Atlantic Salmon, Sea Trout, Shad and the Marine Lamprey) to make their way upstream along the river in order to reproduce.

 Besides the bird species relatively commonly found on rivers (Kingfisher, White-throated Dipper, Grey Heron), the Dordogne is also home to the Little Ringed Plover and the Common Sandpiper. It is also in this river basin that two vertebrates are to be found, one protected the other endangered : the Otter and the European Pond Turtle.

 Thanks to the diversity and the unusual wealth of their natural habitats, several valleys form part of the " Natura 2000" European network of remarkable sites. This is the case of the Rauze and the Vers valleys, which provide not only dry pastures, but also rock habitats, wooded hill slopes, natural meadows… and they provide a home for species such as the Large Copper (a small orange and blue butterfly found in natural meadows) or the Peregrine Falcon which nests in the cliffs of the Vers valley. Mills, hamlets and picturesque villages complete the picture, giving these places a charm all of their own.

 The Ouysse and Alzou valleys (from the name of the rivers flowing through them) are also part of the Natura 2000 programme. They form one of the most intimidating and fascinating landscapes we possess. The wild, monumental aspect of their canyons provides a perfect foil for the architectural wealth of Rocamadour.

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