Thursday, 21 June 2018

Does France have a wolf problem?

A reader sent a link to the BBC news site suggesting that France may have a problem with wolves. So much so that a maire had advised parents not to send children out alone at night.
There has been much discussion in local (ie Aveyron) media in recent years about the policy of re-introducing predators such as wolves (and bears in the Pyrenees) in sheep rearing areas. The Aubrac region has many of its "transhumance" ceremonies at this time, when sheep are taken out to the higher pastures for the summer, where they face more risks.
There are said to be about 52 packs of wolves, counting 360 individuals and shepherds claim that since 2006 about 12000 sheep have been lost. There is little definitive evidence that wolves are responsible, dogs often being as likely to be the culprits. There are no reports of humans being attacked by wolves.
An association of interested groups; farmers, scientists and elected officials has been created to defend the pastoral way of life and will be launched this weekend with the transhumance of 2400 sheep in Lozere.
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