State allows hunting of two endangered bird species

Ptarmigan spotted in Norway in 2010.

May 20, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.,

Reading time: 2 minutes


Bad news for black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) and rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta). These two threatened species of mountain galliformes can be hunted in the Hautes-Alpes during the 2022-2023 season, the Departmental Commission for Hunting and Wildlife confirmed on May 12 (CDCFS). This commission, which contributes to the development and monitoring of government policy in the field of hunting, had however received several warnings from the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) and France Nature Environnement (FNE).

Because these two heritage species of the Alps are respectively classified vulnerable » and in danger » on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threatened birds of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Already, in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the administrative court of Marseille had suspended or canceled their hunt at the request of the two associations. The judges then considered that the hunting of these two wild gallinaceans was an aggravating factor in their decline. Supported by scientific studies confirming the slow disappearance of these species both in terms of geographical distribution and population.

These previous court decisions will therefore not have slowed down the State services, which again sign the authorization to take samples. According to the Environmental Code, the prefects nevertheless have the power to locally prohibit the hunting of these species, for the purposes of protection and replenishment of populations. Until June 4, a second public consultation is organized on the website of the Hautes-Alpes prefecture. At the first consultation, 86.6 % of opinions retained were unfavorable to hunting black grouse and rock ptarmigan. The prefect therefore took no account of it.

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