Wolf problem in the French Alps

Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 05:48 am


A bloody, stinking sheep's carcass greets shepherd Yves Vignon as he walks to check on his flock on the foggy Alpine heights. It's the 17th of his ewes to be savaged in a month.
The mountains over Grenoble were once an ideal grazing ground for his 900 sheep. But now, after long banishment, the wolves are back -- bolder and hungrier than ever.
"We came to this spot on June 24. A week later we were attacked" by wolves, Vignon, 62, told AFP. It was the first of at least four attacks over the past month.
"Every morning when I get up, I wonder what I am going to find on the spot where the sheep have spent the night," he says. "I'm not here to feed those wolves!"
Wolves were eradicated in France in the 1930s, but made a comeback in the southern Alps in 1992, crossing from Italy. They have spread through eastern France, first to the Savoy and this year to the Vosges and Doubs regions.
The predators have also appeared in the Pyrenees and in the heart of France in the Massif Central mountain range, but the government says these far-flung wolves also originate from the Italian pack.
Regional authorities estimate the French wolf population at between 170 and 200 this year, up from 140 to 170 last year. The government says wolves killed 1,329 animals, mostly sheep, in France this year up to July 22.
"We are beginning to wonder if there is a type of wolf that has no fear... since humans are not doing anything to them," says Pascal Grosjean, a French government wolf expert.
One such pack of fearless wolves swooped on a flock in broad daylight under the noses of two shepherds and five sheep dogs in the Alps in November 2010, Grosjean said.
European Union law forbids Vignon to reach for a rifle to solve his wolf problem, though as a last resort authorities can authorise the strategic shooting of a particularly deadly wolf, up to a limit of six per year.
Police in the Alps told AFP they had authorised one such hit last weekend after a wolf devoured 10 sheep and sent a further 62 in panic plunging to their deaths in a ravine. Thirty went missing in the overnight attack.
State officials have suggested Vignon fence his sheep in with electric wire -- not a practical option in the remote, rocky spots where he grazes his flocks.
He has considered using fierce mountain sheep dogs to protect his flock, but hesitates for fear they may bite passing hikers.
"Protection measures are never 100 percent effective because the wolf can exploit the slightest weakness," said Grosjean.
The state has already paid out 364,000 euros (530,000 dollars) to farmers and shepherds such as Vignon this year to compensate them for their mauled sheep.
"I hope that after this hasty measure we can introduce a regulation" limiting the number of wolves, said Yves Derbez, who lost 45 sheep to a wolf earlier this month.
"We have to take effective measures now before sheep farming disappears altogether."
Calls for more freedom to shoot the wolves alarmed environmentalists but many elected officials insisted it was necessary.
"We are perfectly aware of the problems encountered by the farmers," said Green coalition spokesman Pascal Durand. "But we are committed to the coexistence of humans and animals."
The head of the regional council, Jean-Louis Bianco, insisted however: "The wolf is no longer an endangered species," in comments on the radio.
"The shepherds and their flocks are the endangered species."

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Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 05:50 am
"We are perfectly aware of the problems encountered by the farmers," said Green coalition spokesman Pascal Durand. "But we are committed to the coexistence of humans and animals."

Right..... So long as the animals don't live anywhere remotely close to themselves.
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 09:18 am
Gungasnake problem in the USA
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Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 11:03 am
Any would-be film-makers on A2K??

I mean nature hates vacumes and there's a dandy one sitting around here. Consider the new version of the Red Riding Hood story which came out earlier this year:


Now consider that there is a much bigger and better version of something like that just waiting and crying out to be made. In the ultimate version of Red Riding Hood, European leftists and environmental whackos release wolves into settled farming and suburban districts in Europe and pass laws forbidding the common people to shoot or otherwise disturb the wolves until, within three or four years, children are being killed and eaten on their way to school.

"Have you seen little Henry? Schools been out for an hour already."

"Ya, wolf nabbed im on the way home from school, I thought you'd heard..."

At that point, Little Red Riding Hood (Светлана) having been vacationing with relatives who work at the big Kalashnikov factory at Izhevsk, returns to her home in the German Alps with a truckload of AK47s and 7.62x39 hollowpoint ammunition..............

Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 12:24 pm
I mean nature hates vacumes and there's a dandy one sitting around here.

Are you referring to the one between your ears, Gunga?
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Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 02:53 pm
Like we are in favor of wind power - if it's not visible from the Kennedy Compound.
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 04:24 pm
That's about it.
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Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 05:20 pm
I suppose that gunga's been raising livestock for many a year. Around me, we have a serious probl;em with people leaving their doggies out at night and the doggies will form packs and kill livestock. Im not allowed to shoot the doggies either and, in PA, Im given "compensation" for any sheep I Iose.The diirty secret is that the dog law enforcement bureau pays out livestock losses from the pool of dog license fees . And the dog enforcement officers try to make it appear that its my fault that the sheep were killed ( they try to report that I failed to have fencing , which is a lie, and I had taken many fotos and submitted them to the secy of ag. I have some of the most high tech electric fencing around. The dogs can often vault over the fences .
Ive shot many a dog and then I quickly dispose the carcasses .

Ive looked into buying two Great Pyrenees, Kuvasz or Komondoors. These dogs are great protection but thye can get hurt of they are seriously ganged up by a pack of feisty dogs.

The farmer gets screwed all around all over the world.
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2011 05:44 pm
Have you tried telling the dog law people that you're a muslim and that the sheep are there for religio-sexual purposes and are not livestock, and that their rulings are offensive to muslims?
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