In the Lotto, unofficial posters posted in the Causse on the presence of the wolf

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Since mid-May, posters warning of the presence of the wolf have been posted in the Causse and circulated on social networks. The numbers of the Causses du Quercy Regional Nature Park and the DDT are displayed there. But they are not the origin.

“A wolf is rampant in this area. Be careful walking alone, your children, your dogs”, read the posters posted everywhere in the Causses du Quercy Regional Nature Park since mid-May. These are also circulating on social networks. The number of the Park and that of the Departmental Direction of the Lotto Territories are recorded below. However, neither is the cause. “It is in no way an official communication from the State or the PNR, and the content of these posters has not been subject to any form of validation,” explains Mireille Larrède, prefect of the Lot. During a current affairs press conference this Thursday, she even points out, “these kinds of wild displays don’t seem to bring much to the debate to me.”

The prefect also recalls that illegal posting outside urban areas is a crime punishable by a fine of 7,500 euros. The authors of these posters are advised to remove them as soon as possible.

Report the wolf to the OFB

Mireille Larrède also points out that “if you see the wolf, you must report it to the French Biodiversity Office. Even if the possibility of seeing the wolf is unlikely given the very discreet nature of the species”.

The she-wolf rages in Lot’s department.
DDM Manon Adoue

For its part, the PNR had pronounced itself on the wolf on May 16th. “The president and those elected by the Park recall the importance of pastoral farming in the Park area for the conservation of biodiversity, landscapes and the local economy and affirm their solidarity and support for the farmers affected by predation”. is written in a press release.

A “significant predatory activity”

This Wednesday, a new attack was registered in the Central Causse. Since June 2022, 105 damages have been reported, 83 of which attributed to the wolf. 11 are still being analyzed by the OFB. In all, 150 sheep were killed and 150 injured. Or a “significant predation activity”, according to the prefect. You must remember that this is a wolf between two and four years old. This animal comes from the Var, and would, for the moment, be alone. “We don’t hunt wolves, we protect our herds,” says Mirelle Larrède.

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The Mobile Intervention Brigade has come several times to the Lot to support the farmers and guardians of the wolf. There are about twenty of them in the ward. “With the support of the provincial council, we have equipped them with night vision goggles,” the prefect rejoices slightly. All possible devices have been put in place, especially simple defensive shots. These can be done to protect a flock when the wolf is under attack. “It’s not about chasing the wolf, it’s about defending the herds,” recalls Mirelle Larrède. The national wolf plan is under review, a new version will be released in 2024.

“We need to know more about the behavior of wolves: to better preserve and protect them. To do this, we need to be able to identify the clues: hairballs, footprints, excrement… network of observation volunteers,” explains Mireille Larrède. This network is open to all and the Observatory provides a small training to distinguish the different indices. The prefect insists: it’s not a wolf hunt, but a way to enrich the knowledge of this animal, so difficult to capture.

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