Doubling of the number of burrows of European hamsters in Alsace

Doubling of the number of burrows of European hamsters in Alsace

“In 2022, 960 burrows were identified in 24 municipalities of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin”, announced Monday the prefecture of Grand Est in a press release. She sees this as an illustration of the positive population dynamics that have been observed for several years.

This number is the highest recorded in the last five years. Only 488 terriers were counted in 2021, 745 in 2019, 709 in 2018 and 505 in 2017. There was no count in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although these results remain fragile, they encourage the continuation of actions for the perpetuation of the species in France, consider the authorities. These figures are the result of a reintroduction policy during releases carried out each year in the spring, within the framework of a national action plan (PNA).

Operators also organize releases as compensation. Vinci Autoroutes has thus reintroduced 180 large hamsters in 2022 to weigh the environmental impact of its new A355, a 24 km motorway inaugurated last year. This work had been built partly on the natural environment of the species.

“These good figures come from these increasingly important releases”, tempers Stéphane Giraud, director of the Alsace Nature association, who denounces an artificial increase in the workforce.

“When we have to protect the release of large hamsters from predators with fences, or leave rotting wheat on the ground for them to eat, it is no longer really a wild species”, he still stings .

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