Hunting of curlews suspended in France
On 27 August, in a surprise announcement, the French Council of State ruled that no curlew could be shot in France, suspending hunting with immediate effect.
The news followed the French government’s decision at the end of July that up to 6,000 curlews could be hunted during the upcoming season, running from August to late January.
In response to the initial decree, Dr James Robinson, director of conservation for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, said: “This decision goes against the recommendations of its own expert committee and is also in direct contravention to its obligations under the AfricanEurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement.”
The U-turn has been welcomed by a number of wildlife charities and organisations, many of whom wrote to the French Government, expressing their concern.
The curlew population has dramatically declined over the past 20 years throughout Europe, due to pressure from intensive agricultural practices and predation. It is now a Red Listed species in the UK and some curlews breeding in southern England overwinter in France. Mary Colwell