Destruction of landscapes, toxins, climate change, man-made obstacles, noise – migratory birds are under threat from a variety of factors. Additionally, hunting of migratory birds is unfortunately still widespread in southern Europe.
Despite clear legislation, the French state did not intervene. So, the French bird protection organisation FRAPNA (Fédération Rhône-Alpes de la Nature) asked Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) for help. While a farmer wanted to sell his land on the Col de l’Escrinet, in June 1999 FFW tried to buy it from the state company SAFER, which acts as an intermediary for agricultural land in France. However, SAFER decided to sell the strategically important land to the bird hunters.
To put an end to the illegal bird massacres, Fondation Franz Weber used all legal, political and media means. In 2001, Fondation Franz Weber acquired a small plot of land in the middle of the pass, the Tourrasse Hill. As a result, peace finally returned to the place where hunters used to kill every flying creature. Poachers had to give way to ornithologists, nature lovers and environmentalists. Today, the migratory birds over the Col de l’Escrinet are no longer shot, but observed, counted and admired.
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