Why is protecting a possible Bonelliís eagle nesting site necessary?

Before the 1980’s, the Lussan garrigues used to be the home of the Bonelli’s eagle. Today, they have a high potential for rehabilitation:

  • They are located within the heart of the current population, with three nearby breeding pairs in the gorges of the Ardèche and Baume Rivers, and three other breeding pairs in the gorges of the Gardon Rivers.
  • Their habitats are suitable for this species: grass, riparian forest, etc.
  • They include no less than four former nesting sites, including the Concluses and Merderis site, in which most individuals settle.

Recolonising former nesting sites is therefore one of the aims of the Nation Plan of Action for the Bonelli’s Eagle in France.

Though the Concluses and Merderis site is under the regulatory protection of Prefectorial Order for Protection of the Biotope APPB 3003, under no circumstances are the owners restricted from harvesting the forest.

Nevertheless, harvesting shall improve the birds’ co-visibility and encourage the creation of tracks passing through sensitive areas, all-in-all affecting the breeding site’s peacefulness.

It is therefore necessary to preserve this strategical site’s excellent state of conservation. This strengthens the simultaneous conservation efforts provided in favour of the Bonelli’s eagle: environment-opening work, support for the prey species populations, etc.


What does this protection consist in?

A Real Environmental Obligation (ORE) is a deliberate contractual arrangement introduced in 2016 by the law on restoring biodiversity, nature and landscapes, which allows to bind an environmental protection with a property (and not with the owner), through the obligation to do (maintenance, practising organic farming…) or not to do (refraining from cutting, building constraints of the ground) on the long-term (up to 99 years).
  • The Joint Association of the Gardon Gorges and the identified (and willing) owners shall sign an ORE contract.
    This contract shall set real obligations, to which the property’s owner and subsequent owners shall be subjected, enforcing measures in favour of the Bonelli’s eagle, and more specifically the prohibition to cut timber on 60 ha.
    The contract shall have a duration of 60 years.

The project throughout time

  1. Step 01 - Spring and Summer 2022

    Drafting the ORE contract

  2. Step 02 - Winter 2022

    Signing the ORE contract