La faune cynégétique des Alpes françaises

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Title: La faune cynégétique des Alpes françaises
Author: Lavauden, Louis
Abstract: ON FAUNA OF INTEREST TO HUNTERSIN THE FRENCH ALPS - Both for Mammalia and Birds the Alps offer special biologicalconditions, very similar to those of the polar regions, but differingby the regular diurnal changes of day and night. Thepresent alpine fauna is paleontologically of mixed origin : arctic,mediterranean and oriental. Its whole history is dominated bythe glacial period. At the end of the latter, a few species of thearctic fauna (The Reindeer, the Wolverene, the Musk-Ox) havemoved up northwards and without settling in the mountainswhich do not suit them. But, on the other hand, the Lynx, theVariable Hare and the Common Ptarmigan present alpine, aswell as nordic forms. The eastern element is represented bythe Ibex, the Chamois and the Rock Partridge. The mediterraneanelements, few in number, are all birds, of which somemust be looked upon as autochtonous and preglacial : the SnowVole, the alpine Shrew, the Bearded Vulture, the water-ousel,the alpine crows. Water fowl from the North may stop in thecourse of their peregrinations, but none of them makes its nestthere.Before turning to the alpine animals of special interest to thehunter it may be stated that the Red-deer still survived in theAlps (of Savoy) as recently as about 1870, and that the Wolf,who disappeared from the Dauphiné in 1883, had survived inthe Savoy country down to the end of the XIXth century.The author then overlooks the alpine Mammalia : the Ibex,whom Italian protection has succeeded in preserving; the Chamois,whose numbers have varied but who still exists ratherabundantly now adays; the Marmot, a hibernating animalbuilding burrows and hawing many biological peculiarities; theVariable Hare, who during the winter becomes entirely white; the Bear, who still survives in the Vercors region of the Dauphinéand on the border between the Dauphiné and the Savoy;finally the Lynx, who has almost entirely disappeared from theFrench Alps.Of the birds, the Capercaillie has, so to speak, gone from theFrench Alps. The Black Grouse, on the contrary, is still plentiful.The Hazel Hen lives in the woods, and the CommonPtarmigan, whose moulting is so interesting, is found on theupper pasture lands. Hunters frequently confound the RockPartridge with the Red-legged Partridge. Mention must finallybe made of the great birds of prey, the Golden Eagle, who becomesmore rare every year, and the Bearded Vulture, who isnearly extinct.
Publisher: ENEF, Ecole nationale des eaux et forêts, Nancy (FRA)
Date: 1932

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