The ranchers of Vall Ferrera denounce the overpopulation of mouflons

the ranchers of Vall Ferrera denounce the overpopulation of mouflons in the area.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
21 April 2024 Sunday 16:59
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The ranchers of Vall Ferrera denounce the overpopulation of mouflons

the ranchers of Vall Ferrera denounce the overpopulation of mouflons in the area.

During the months of March, April and May they come down from the high areas to the grass meadows looking for grass to feed on, with the losses that this entails for farmers.

The rancher Nacho Castellarnau has explained that where there are mouflons, flocks of sheep cannot go to graze, because if they cross paths with the shepherds' sheep, an animal "very little appreciated for meat" and infertile emerges.

In Norís, at 1,254 meters above sea level, only Benito lives, who has explained that the mouflons no longer act strange to people and walk through the streets of the town as if nothing had happened. From the window of his house he sees herds of up to 200 mouflons, he said.

Castellarnau explained that mouflons were introduced to Andorra for sport hunting in the mid-nineties. The animals crossed the border through Tor and Alins and have spread throughout the valley.

This farmer from Alins has explained that the mouflons are advancing to the detriment of the chamois, with whom they compete for the lowest meadows. Where years ago they saw herds of chamois, they now see herds of mouflon, he said.

Benito, the only permanent resident in the town of Norís, explained that some time ago they had to put fences in the town cemetery so that the mouflons and wild boars did not enter. "Seeing them walking through the streets of the town is already common," Benito said and as an example he commented that he must protect the flowers at home with cloth so that these animals do not eat them.

The censused mouflon population in the Alt Pallars National Hunting Reserve (RNC) in 2023 was 1,019, according to Climate Action.

Last year, the National Hunting Reserve managed a total of 13 damage files and exceptional authorizations were given that contemplate permission to carry out stalking by farmers. During this period, 32 mouflon specimens were reported killed. These results are not definitive because there are still 4 authorizations out of the 13.

The director of the RNC, Cristina Espinar, has said that with the population data they have "management must be done to reduce the numbers and control the population."