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Hunting of two endangered birds authorised in France

A bird protection group has denounced the decision to allow the hunting of two types of birds in Hautes-Alpes, saying they are ‘under pressure’

The black grouse (Lyrurus Tetrix) and ptarmigan (Lagopus Muta)

The black grouse (Lyrurus Tetrix) and ptarmigan (Lagopus Muta) are classed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s red list Pic: Wang LiQiang / Petr Simon / Shutterstock

Bird protection association the LPO has come out against a decision by the Hautes-Alpes hunting authority to authorise the hunting of two types of birds for the 2022-23 season.

The black grouse (Lyrurus Tetrix) and ptarmigan (Lagopus Muta) are classed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s red list. Studies suggest that they are on slow decline.

Yet, hunting and wild fauna agency the Commission départementale de la chasse et de la faune sauvage has authorised their hunting for the next season.

The practice was banned in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 by the administrative court of Marseille, which had responded to demands by bird protection group la Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) and France Nature Environnement.

But in response to the latest authorisation, Alain Girodon, administrator for the LPO PACA told France3: “We are against this decision of the state. These two birds are already under other pressure. 

“They are troubled by mountain development, especially for winter sports, especially when users ski off-piste.”

The LPO is hoping that the authorisation will be overturned. A public consultation on the issue is set to run until June 4 in Hautes-Alpes. During the last consultation, 86.6% of people said that they were against the hunting of these birds.

Mr Girodon said: “We are waiting for the public consultation and a maximum of people to protest against this decision to reauthorise the hunting of these two birds.”

The Hautes-Alpes website has a detailed list of the species that can be hunted.

In France, 20 species that appear on the IUCN’s red list can still be hunted, including two that are in global danger.

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