In a movement that unequally affects all modern democracies, France is witnessing a return of wildlife, which the population perceives only marginally: increased populations of wild ungulates, spontaneous return of the wolf, expansion of thelynx, increased forest … The agricultural abandonment has, in fact, favored the extension of forest ecosystems, the return of herbivores and their predators, especially in mountain ranges.
Even if we can rejoice at this rise in numbers, the fact remains that our country has a natural area capable of supporting much larger wild populations. The large fauna remains anecdotal in France: 1% of the biomass and about 3 million wild ungulates, for 30 to 35 million domestic ungulates.
Resources forgotten and manhandled, the large fauna is confined to a marginal role, in the manner of garden gnomes in the setting of a more or less natural landscape. Appropriate for corporatist purposes, its management suffers from a lack of consistency and a global vision.
The large fauna, herbivores as predators, nevertheless has a systemic relation with its environment, including man. It participates in complex processes that we largely ignore. It plays a major role in the dynamics of the ecosystems, their capacities of adaptation, evolution and in the resilience of the ecological services of the territories. The interactions between wildlife (animal and plant) and human activities are as old as humanity itself. Depending on the place and the period, they take many forms: coexistences more or less thoughtful sometimes, most often rivalries or conflicts of use.
These interactions result above all from the dependence, most often ignored, of human societies on the complex natural processes that surround them. The challenge nowadays is to make wild fauna and flora a profitable resource, generating social and economic activities in declining areas.
A condition remains necessary to this Revolution: to know the natural processes in which humanity is, in fact, inscribed and to share this knowledge with all the public decision-makers to build, FINALLY, an effective environmental policy.