Hunting of two protected bird species allowed in France
Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) hopes the decision will be overturned. They successfully lobbied, alongside France Nature Environnement, for legal protection of both grouse between 2017 and 2021.
Ptarmigan is already under pressure from recreational disturbance, according to conservation organisation LPO (Douglas Dickson).
Alain Girodon, LPO administrator in Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, said: "We are against this decision of the state. These two birds are already under other pressure. They are troubled by mountain development, especially for winter sports, especially when users ski off-piste."
However, Commission Départementale de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, the local hunting authority, has authorised the hunting of both species for the coming season. A public consultation is ongoing. In the last consultation, a majority of 86.6 per cent of people stated their objection to Ptarmigan and Black Grouse being hunted.
Mr Girodon added: "We are waiting for the public consultation and a maximum of people to protest against this decision to reauthorise the hunting of these two birds."
Both of the grouse species authorised for hunting are on the Red List drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). French hunters can still target 20 species on the IUCN Red List.