Forestry staff will be making a census of the stags in the Aubrac today (Wednesday). But given that these deer, introduced into the forests of the area some 60 years ago, are large and very timid counting them is no easy task. Hunters and staff will count the calls of the mating males (brame) and expect to get a total of about 250-300 individuals.
Hunters think there has been a small decrease in numbers which they put down to the presence of wolves, though conservationists doubt this and since the census is to determine what action is needed to control numbers perhaps no action is needed.
However there is criticism of members of the public going into the forests at night with lamps in an effort to spot the timid animals. "It's like Disneyland in there" one chasseur claimed.
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