Capercaillie hunting banned for five years

The largest wild land bird in Europe can no longer be hunted throughout metropolitan France, in accordance with an injunction from the Council of State.

Hunting capercaillie, the largest wild land bird in Europe, will be banned in France for five years in accordance with an injunction from the Council of State, according to a decree published on Saturday in the Official Journal. “Capercaillie hunting is suspended throughout metropolitan France for a period of five years from the entry into force of this decree.“says the text dated September 1.

The period may be shortenedif new data show a sufficiently favorable evolution of the conservation status of the capercaillie“, he specifies. On June 1, the Council of State had imposed the suspension of the hunting of this capercaillie living in the mountains, for five years, asking the government to take this measure before July 15.

A previous refusal by Barbara Pompili

The institution had been seized by several associations for the defense of the environment which demanded the moratorium, “noting the decline of the species and the inaction of the public authorities“. These demanded the cancellationfor excess of powerof a refusal by the Minister for Ecological Transition at the time Barbara Pompili, on April 12, 2021, to issue an order suspending capercaillie hunting. “The seriousness of the situation of this species in poor conservation status requires, in order to comply with the obligations arising from the objectives of Directive 2009/147/EC (a European directive concerning the conservation of wild birds, editor’s note), to abstain of any harvesting of capercaillie throughout the territory for a fairly long period“, had indicated the Council of State.

Given the situation of the species and pending possible new data on the evolution of its conservation status, it appears that capercaillie hunting is not compatible with maintaining the species and that it is necessary to suspend it throughout the metropolitan territory of France for a sufficient period of time to allow the species to be reconstituted in the various sites of its distribution area“, he had insisted. The Council of State had also considered that the suspension of the hunt could last less, if the state of conservation of the bird improves.

The capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), present in particular in the Pyrenees, the Cévennes and the Jura, is considered as “vulnerableon the French red list of endangered species.

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