Pyrénées-Orientales: the poacher who trapped birds "protected" condemned for ecological damage

It is rare to be highlighted and encouraging for biodiversity advocates. The judgment handed down on November 3 by the criminal court of Perpignan condemned a poacher from Rivesaltais, not only for his illegal capture activities, but also for the considerable consequences on the future of protected species. The fine is steep (€5,800).

This is the most impressive operation of the year, launched by the agents of the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) in Thuir, who initiated the procedure. In fact, 102 birds, a large part of which are protected species, trapped in atrocious conditions, were discovered in the poacher’s aviary during the search carried out by the gendarmes.

Captured with glue… deadly torture

The case goes back to last February, following a piece of information, OFB agents are on surveillance patrol in the Rivesaltais sector. They manage to catch an individual in the act who is laying bamboo branches smeared with glue, and who with his mobile phone is emitting bird songs. Identified, it is then at his home that the gendarmes will carry out a search under the regime of flagrance. The discovery in its cages is unprecedented: 102 live birds divided into 62 Cini canaries, 28 European goldfinches, 7 European greenfinches, 6 willy buntings and a corn bunting, a Lulu lark and a chaffinch, a dozen dead birds are also in a trash can. In the process and on the instruction of the prosecutor, the birds were released into their natural environment.

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Recognition of ecological damage

The Ornithological Group of Roussillon (GOR) is a civil party in this case of illegal capture and detention of protected and endangered species, so that exemplary sanctions are applied. Joseph Hiard’s explanations: “on the criminal level the defendant is found guilty and sentenced to a 3-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 300 euros. On the civil level, and this is new, he is declared responsible for the significant ecological damage caused by his captures of protected species whose populations are in decline in France. In the end, he was sentenced to 5,800 euros in compensation for this damage. These are serious facts which cause considerable damage to biodiversity. It is to be hoped that these convictions will have a deterrent effect for its traffickers”.

The Zizi Bunting is also on the list of species in decline, the poacher had six of them!
J. Hiard

An ecological disaster perfectly demonstrated by these ornithology experts who highlight the consequences of these acts: “For each adult individual captured, one to two broods of 3 to 5 chicks will not see the light of day. In this case, we add that the use of bird songs (by telephone) favors the capture of males , which subsequently generates male/female imbalancess, likely to affect the reproductive chances of the species. It should be added that the mode of capture used, namely hunting for glue, is illegal and cruel, many birds die of exhaustion or have their legs torn off. This condemnation takes into consideration the fragility of the captured species which are also qualified as heritage. A status that places them on the various red lists that assess the risk of extinction in the medium term on global, national and regional scales.

birds in danger

According to NGO bird lifea recent report indicates“that one in eight bird species is threatened with extinction, while the state of bird populations around the world is deteriorating. It is clear that any act of capture causes considerable, often irreversible harm. Added to this are the losses of ecosystem services provided by birds: seed dispersal, the fight against insect pests, etc. which are essential to the balance of the food chain and more generally the preservation of biodiversity and humanity.

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