The French ministries of Agriculture and Environment have produced and are now consulting the public on a national action plan to decrease the potential conflict between griffon vultures and livestock breeders. This plan, that has been developed since 2012, was deemed necessary following a string of complains and incidents between livestock breeders and griffon vultures, more pronounced in the early 2000s.
The LPO and other nature conservation organizations have worked hard to make sure this plan does not derail the significant advances made in France in vulture conservation. Thus, the plan is measured and balanced.
It is nevertheless important that vulture conservationists do respond to this public consultation, on the one hand so that all the actors involved in the conservation of scavengers are taken into consideration, but also to raise your interests in the future technical committees to be established at departmental level.
This plan still ignores the significant feeding that vultures do in the wider countryside, outside supplementary feeding areas, and does consider the possibility of authorizing repellant shooting - where the shooter can scare birds away, but not kill them. Vulture conservationists need to remain vigilant also that the provision of food in the supplementary feeding points is not used to control locally populations of griffon vulture – these sites are extremely important also for other scavenging species like the bearded, Egyptian and black vultures.
Despite the opposition of our partners LPO, these tools of scaring shots and regulation of the population by managing food in the “placettes” has been maintained in this version. Their implementation is key - will it be reasonable or disproportionate?
You can participate in the public consultation until the 3rd of March here´
Photo Bruno Berthémy/VCF