Wildlife: the renewed ambitions of the Corsica Regional Natural Park

At the time of its fiftieth anniversary, the Regional Natural Park of Corsica reinforces its mission of preserving the wild species in its territory. Although the range of its interventions is very wide, it is the contracting authority for the deer and bearded vulture files, which receive very particular attention.

The image of an officer natural Park holding a kidnapper convalescing under its protective wing was undoubtedly the most conveyed by the media, from the moment it was a matter of protecting the wild animals inside corsica.

READ TOO: VIDEO. Helicopter transfers at the beginning of the season to the hideaways of the Corsica Regional Natural Park

The existence, for many years, of an assistance center managed directly by the union, certainly contributed to this. “Wildlife species have always been part of the park’s DNA,” says François Arrighi, head of the PNRC’s wealth division. The vocation comes from afar, it is comfortably installed in the history of the institution.

Of course, the Park is not alone. Many of the partners responsible for the environmental mission intervene to varying degrees, but for our part, we are now acting very operationally and very proactively in this mission, recalls the director, François Geronimi. It is traditionally assigned to national parks and nature reserves, but the Park has always been committed to this. We take on this tradition and give it substance through various operations. »

Two cases come first to the director’s mind: the bearded vulture and the deer. (read elsewhere). “The Bearded Vulture Life program is exceptional, emphasizes the director. Under the aegis of the Park, public authorities have decided to release three million euros for this critically endangered bird of prey in Corsica. It is a very ambitious program that aims, in particular, to analyze the causes of mortality of this species. Are significant human resources deployed full-time in this Life, which for the first time in Corsica dedicates so many resources to a species of wild fauna? » As for the reintroduction of the Corsican deer, which began 24 years ago, the Park is now speaking in terms of success, although this undeniable success requires special attention to the species’ impact on spaces.

The creation and release of animals in the Cagna massif is the Park's main contribution to the protection of the mouflon.  - PNRC

Classified as a “protected species” since March 2019, the mouflon is far from having reconquered island territory. “Even though they both belong to the wild ungulate family, these two animals are not comparable in terms of behavior.” tempers François Arrighi, responsible for a service that, in the Natural Park, is part of a conservation program for the emblematic species of Corsica.

READ TOO: A successful release of sheep in the Cagna massif

In this dossier, action is shared, in particular with the French Office for Biodiversity (formerly the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife), whose experts have long been involved in the mouflon theme. Focused on its action at the service of livestock, within the scope of the activity of its Quenza park, the Park has contributed, since October 2020, to the strengthening of the population thanks to these releases in the Cagna massif. “We have good results” says the park director. “Our creation allows us to guarantee releases on the basis of 15 to 20 individuals per year, specifies the head of the heritage department, considering that the real lessons are yet to come. We will have the first elements about the success of this operation when we can see, in nature, its effects on reproduction. »

François Arrighi does not forget an essential fact in his eyes. “When we talk about species, we have to look at a long period of time, not a few years. Even less in administrative time. »

The osprey is the Park's main concern in terms of wildlife along the coastline of its territory.  - Doctor CM

The interest of a new letter

An approach that applies to other species, lesser known or more discreet in the media. The Corsican Nuthatch, “an endemic bird that is the subject of much work on how the species can be considered in the forest management plan, confides François Arrighi. Our interest also concerns other species whose status is a little less precarious in the territory. The eagle, whose populations are becoming interesting, the mountain sparrow or the parrot, without forgetting the Hermann tortoise, a species exposed due to a hybridization phenomenon, but also due to another problematic phenomenon common to many species: the disappearance of the its natural habitat. »

Relying on the dynamics of Natura 2000 sites, around thirty in its territory, the Corsica Regional Natural Park aims to ensure that its policy bears fruit for wildlife, without forgetting the essential mission of its environmental education component, which brings together the public generally. “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of our letter, adds François Arrighi. It had the merit of clarifying and better articulating our intervention and that of all our partners for the benefit of the environmental cause. »

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