Suspension of turtle dove hunting extended for a year



Suspension of turtle dove hunting extended for one year. (illustrative photo)

HUNTING – The government has extended for a year the ban on hunting the turtle dove, a migratory bird whose population has collapsed in Europe and which was first protected by the Council of State in 2020, according to a decree published Thursday, August 18.

“Until July 30, 2023, the hunting of the turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) is suspended throughout the metropolitan territory”indicates the decree of the Ministry of Ecological Transition published in the Official Journal.

This is the third consecutive hunting campaign for which harvesting of this species is prohibited.

For the 2020 hunting campaign, the government authorized the shooting of 17,460 turtle doves. But the Council of State, seized by several associations including the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), had suspended the government decree in September 2020.

The following summer, the government then issued a first decree suspending this hunt, which has now been extended.

A migratory bird whose population has dropped by 80% in Europe in 40 years

“We are obviously satisfied that the guns are up”reacted to AFP Yves Verdilhac, director general of the LPO, “but we should at least extend this ban for 5 years and even remove the turtle dove from the list of huntable species”.

The turtle dove, a migratory bird whose population has fallen by 80% in Europe over the past 40 years, is the subject of adaptive species management measures in France.

The number of animals that can be killed is fixed after scientific expertise on the conservation status of each species. A scientific committee recommended in 2019 to no longer hunt the turtle dove, or, at worst, to kill 1.3% of the estimated numbers in France, or 18,300 birds at the time.

For another species in decline, the Council of State imposed in June on the government to suspend the hunting of the Capercaillie, the largest wild land bird in Europe, also called the Heather Rooster.

The highest administrative court, which multiplies this type of decision, justifies them in the name of the State’s obligations with regard to the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of wild species.

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