By Writing The Journal d’Abbeville
updated on August 24, 22 at 11:10
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According French Office for Biodiversity (OFB), three Eurasian Curlews (species of bird in decline that is subject to a suspension of hunting since 2020), equipped with GPS beacons, have been killed during the opening of the hunt on the public maritime domain on the weekend of August 6 and 7, 2022, in Baie de Seine, Baie de Somme and Baie de Canche.
Judicial inquiries were opened by the services of the OFB, assisted by the gendarmerie for two of the three departments, in order to recover the beacons and the birds.
“The greatest responsibility of hunters is expected with regard to this vulnerable species”, indicates the OFB, in a press release this Wednesday August 24, 2022.
Punishable by a fine of €1,500
Shooting a species subject to a moratorium is punishable by a fine of €1,500 which may be subject to additional penalties such as suspension of hunting license.
The fact that these birds carry a beacon is an aggravating circumstance.
In some cases, the offense may be a tort with a prison sentence.
Equipped with beacons
Two of the curlews killed had been fitted with beacons in Germany and the third in Belgium. The emission of unusual signals from these beacons led to the discovery of three violations committed during the opening of the waterfowl hunt.
A species in steep decline
The Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) is a migratory bird whose distribution extends from the Urals in Russia in the East to the North-West of the African continent and Western Europe. The breeding populations of most of these countries are seeing their numbers drop.
In France, these numbers have decreased by 25% in 15 years according to the OFB. The species is now classified as vulnerable on the French red list.
This species has been the subject of a national management plan and a moratorium suspending its hunting since 2020, which was renewed by ministerial decree of July 29, 2022.
International scientific monitoring
In order to understand the ecology of this species and the threats hanging over it, a scientific monitoring program using GPS beacons is carried out in different countries. It makes it possible to answer questions such as the origin of the birds, the migration routes (and the potential associated threats) and the use of the habitats during the stages of this migration. The objective is to implement the best possible actions for the conservation of the species.
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