Sunday 23 October 2022 | 0

One Voice will defend black grouse at the Marseille Administrative Tribunal on Monday 24 October 2022


Mis à jour le 28 December 2022

As their counterpart did in Savoie for three emblematic species of mountain Galliformes, the Hautes-Alpes Prefect has, in mid-September, issued a decree fixing the number of black grouse that can be hunted in the department. While the birds are facing difficulties unmatched in our era and the species is in decline, the hunters can add to the problem by slaughtering 270 of them in the context of their recreational hobby. The hunting season is open. We need to act urgently. One Voice will be at the hearing at the Marseille Administrative Tribunal on Monday 24 October 2022 to defend black grouse.

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One Voice has filed an emergency interim proceeding with a view to getting the prefectural authorisation allowing these slaughters urgently suspended, as well as a fundamental appeal, because the Association is rebelling against the fact that hunters use animals as targets for pleasure with free rein from the State, knowing perfectly well that their shots do nothing but worsen an already disastrous situation for biodiversity.

Why are black grouse being shot down more when they are in decline?

In this specific case, black grouse are part of a protected species (under the Birds Directive on a European level and the Environmental Code in French law) because they are classified on a national level on the red list of threatened bird species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘near-threatened’ and ‘vulnerable’ in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. They are protected for a reason!

The proof is that the Observatoire des Galliformes de Montagne (OGM), who measure the evolution of the strength of these individuals, clearly shows that the population has been in decline for more than twenty years. And that the reproduction of the species in 2022 and in previous years is insufficient in relation to authorised hunting acts.

How can we allow these animals to be killed for pleasure, derogating from several layers of protection put in place to guarantee their conservation, adding also to the difficulties that they must confront to reproduce? We must urgently prevent black grouse from continuing to be shot at!

Precedents that make you optimistic in Grenoble and Marseille

The Grenoble Administrative Tribunal has also agreed by urgently interrupting the Savoie decree application of 20 October relating in particular to black grouse (but also rock partridges and rock ptarmigans). Equally in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, around fifteen days before, the prefectural decrees had been suspended on the section concerning black grouse: we had been successful with regards to our voluntary intervention alongside the LPO.

We hope that it will be the same in the Hautes-Alpes following the 23 October hearing where we will be fighting once again alongside the LPO against prefectural services to help save the lives of hundreds of mountain birds.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
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