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French national agency for wildlife

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The National Hunting and Wildlife Agency is a public administrative institution under the joint supervision of the ministries in charge of ecology and agriculture.

 

dépliant ONCFS en anglais  

The main missions of the National Hunting and Wildlife Agency are :



-  Monitoring of wildlife and their habitats and enforcement of the hunting and environmental police regulations ;

-  Studies, research and experimentation for the conservation, restoration and management of wildlife and their habitats ;

-  Technical support to public authorities in assessing the status of wildlife and monitoring its management, policy development and the regional assessment of the management of wildlife and improvements to the quality of their habitats ;

-  The organization and validation of the hunting license examination.

 

Technical agents and technicians of the Environment (the former wildlife protection officers), are officially designated agents who are commissioned by the Minister of Ecology and, as such, may intervene as sworn expert witnesses.


As the State’s legal representatives, these officially designated agents carry out missions of surveillance and control in their quality of members of the hunting and nature-protection police, but also missions of prevention. 10 regional delegations coordinate the activities of 90 local departments notably with the help of a technical cell appointed to treat development issues which are further implemented by the administrations and territory managers.

 

Some engineers, research workers and technicians are employed by the Study and Research Department (DER). They conduct field studies, are involved in research and experimentation, provide technical support and expertise through five National Centres for Applied Research (CNERA) :

 

  • Migratory birds (waterfowl, woodcock, lark, pigeons and doves, thrushes, quail).
  • Cervids wild boar
  • Mountain game (isard, chamois, ibex, mouflon, mountain galliformes).
  • Small sedentary lowland game (wild rabbit, hare, pheasants, partridges) ;
  • Predators and depredatory animals (fox, lynx, bear, wolf, beaver, mustelids, and impact of these species on the environment and/or human activities).).

They keep a close watch on : water birds, deer and wild boar, woodcock, migratory birds, partridges, beaver, brown bear, European mink, lynx, mountain grouse, and also deal with the epidemiological surveillance of wildlife diseases and poisoning (SAGIR).


The ONCFS runs a network of 33 reserves covering an area of 62,150 ha. These areas where nature is still preserved, are privileged territories for applied research that provide information on how to manage more than fifty rare species.


Competencies of the ONCFS in wildlife and habitat management, and in the organisation of a hunting police patrol, are regularly exported to meet the demands of numerous foreign partners.