French Office of Biodiversity (OFB) in Occitanie takes delivery

A wolf found dead in Larzac? Is warding off bears a good solution? Sensitive files are handled by the French Office of Biodiversity in Occitanie (OFB). His deputy director received the goods for us.

Collective L113 announced on July 19 that a cub about three months old had been found dead in Larzac. He will be brought back to a farm by a patron and, according to breeders, his presence will attest to the presence of a flock south of the Aveyron. On this topic and the controversy surrounding the fear of bears, we asked Louis-Gérard d’Escrienne, deputy director of OFB Occitanie, to check.

France 3 Occitanie: Has OFB confirmed the presence of a cub and therefore a pack of wolves in South Aveyron?

Louis-Gérard d’Escrienne, deputy director of OFB Occitanie: No, we have yet to receive genetic analyzes that can confirm that it is a Cub. Results take a few weeks to come in so we are currently waiting.

We have about forty camera traps placed in the “wolf pack” detection area. So far, we have nothing. Next week, we’ll be doing night tests with provocative howls. If a packet responds, we can say it exists.

We never said there were no wolves. What you must understand is that you are not trying to invalidate or confirm. We are based on facts. When we say that the package is there, we are sure that there is one. Our agents in this area are unlikely to be implicated. We don’t rely on assumptions, we need proof.

France 3 Occitanie: do you think there is a probability?

Louis-Gérard d’Escrienne, deputy director of OFB Occitanie: maybe there is a package. We announce that we have identified two genetic traces of our offspring. Since there are already males, they may have gathered. We look forward to it. But the problem is that if the analysis revealed that the animal found dead was a puppy and not a wolf, we would be told that was not true.

That’s a bit complicated. I work in agriculture, I understand the suffering of some people, the frustration of others. But for example, when breeders bring three calves to the province and say they were killed by a vulture, that’s not reasonable. A vulture does not attack a three-month-old calf. At term, at birth if in trouble. Vultures may exhibit attack-like behavior but have no “weapon” to kill. It is not a predator but a scavenger.

But we’ve had episodes of anthrax in Aveyron and most likely it was, or even another predator: wolves, dogs… so the more interested in the observations the better. as soon as possible after death. It’s a bit complicated because when we deal with agronomists everything goes well, but sometimes with breeders the message is not communicated and we let them get mad when we no protection for any reason.

OFB field workers find it difficult to be accused of doing things they have never done and never thought of doing. In short, we really consider the fact that there is a package but we have no proof. There could be a pack of only one and it died (that happens with dogs). It’s full of uncertainty

The analyzes will allow us to know if it is a wolf and if so, if it is related to one of the offspring for which we already have a genetic trace or if it is the offspring of a wolf. other wolf. This is also the focus of these analyses.

France 3 Occitanie: Concerning the bear, fear is controversial. What do you think ?

Louis-Gérard d’Escrienne, deputy director of OFB Occitanie: many people have accused us of intentionality since this June 21 decree continues to uphold the dreaded measures. We’re really trying to apply what’s been done in bear countries and where things are going well.

We scare with a counter target, meaning if the bear is scared, if it gets plastic bullets, it won’t come back. He goes elsewhere and considers the sheep to be something painful. The same goes for explosions caused by firecrackers at a height of 50 meters. They scare them.

Animal protection associations are attacking the decree, with no other purpose than to avoid harm to farmers and to make the bears better accepted by locals. We are not here to hurt them or kill them. On the contrary, it prevents others from doing it with real bullets.

We also show farmers that we are helping them, that we are doing something useful to keep them going. Anyway, that’s what we’re trying to do.

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