The National Office of Game and Wildlife (ONCFS) and its role in the study, management and conservation of grouse species in France
The National Office of Game and Wildlife is a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecology & Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Agriculture. Three main tasks have been entrusted to the ONCFS: 1) to safeguard the environmental police, 2) to contribute to the monitoring of both game species and a number of protected species, and 3) to study the ecology and biology of these species and to provide tools for their management. In this context, the ONCFS began monitoring the French grouse populations (capercaillie, black grouse, rock ptarmigan and hazel grouse) in 1977, and conducted studies on their ecology, population dynamics, and more recently their genetics.
This work has been carried out by a team of wildlife biologists lead by Laurence Ellison until 2005, and has increased our knowledge about the French grouse, helped identify their limiting factors, draw up restoration plans, and implement conservation measures. The team also created the ‘Mountain Grouse Observatory’ (OGM), a national database on these birds and their habitats, to which 43 institutional partners and associations contribute. For details about the ONCFS, please visit the website: http://www.oncfs.gouv.fr
The Regional Hunting Federation of the Provence-Alps-Riviera region, and its contribution to the monitoring and management of mountain grouse
The Regional Hunting Federation of the Provence-Alps-Riviera region unites the departmental hunting federations from six departments of southeastern France, four of which support populations of one or more tetraonid species.
Owing to a team of professional technicians specialised in management and monitoring of wildlife, these departmental federations contribute to the monitoring of populations of game species (also within the OGM) and to decisions on hunting management measures taken by hunting and wildlife commissions at the county level.
The National Forestry Office (ONF) and its role in management of public forests with grouse habitats in France
The National Forestry Office is a public institution supervised by the Ministry of Ecology & Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Agriculture. The institution is in charge of 4.6 million hectares of state and community forests (about 30% of metropolitan France's forests) of which several hectares host capercaillie (i.e. the Vosges, Jura, Cevennes and Pyrenees), black grouse (the Alps) and hazel grouse (the Ardennes, Vosges, Jura and Alps).
In 2004, ONF created the specialist group on the avian fauna which surveys the French grouse populations, contributes actively to the work done in the OGM and is involved in the designation and management of Natura 2000 network of sites designated in relation to grouse. Grouse conservation is integrated in regional forest management directives and in their implementation through sylvicultural actions. For details about the ONF, please visit the website: http://www.onf.fr