Combining nature protection and cultural activities in the Minervois region (France)
The Languedoc-Roussillon region has two Natura 2000 sites: the “Causses du Minervois” Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which aims to preserve natural habitats and species; and the “Minervois” Special Protection Area (SPA), which aims to conserve important habitats for bird populations.
Established in 2014, the main objective of these projects is to maintain and restore the favourable condition of species and habitats in the Minervois Region. Members of the Departmental Federation of Hunting in the Aude and Herault provinces are involved in ensuring that nature conservation obligations are met while developing economic, social and cultural activities acting on the site.
To meet these challenges, several conservation actions have been proposed:
- Maintaining and restoring the sites’ open landscapes, through maintaining agricultural diversity;
- Conserving and restoring landscape features needed by species for their life cycle
- Reduce and eliminate threats to species and habitats
- Increase the biological value of the forest habitats
- Improve social knowledge about the habitats and species
- Educate, train and involve stakeholders in the Natura 2000 approach
Some examples of activities carried out since 2014 include the creation and conservation of ponds and artificial warrens which help to develop the population of the European rabbit, a prey specie of many raptors such as the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Hunting quotas and a moratorium on rabbit hunting on the implantation area (150 m around the warren) were established in order to increase populations.
Contact and Sources:
Laurent COURNAULT – Task officer FRC Languedoc Roussillon
More information can be found here: