Maintain traditional activities compatible with conservation issues
Traditionally, the pastures of the estate have been grazed by horses, sheep, and bulls. In 1994, the Tour du Valat created its own "Camargue" bull and horse breeding operations.
The estate's breeding objectives stem from the research and management programmes at the Tour du Valat.
- The extensive breeding of 230 "Camargue" bulls and 20 horses, grazing on 1,200 ha of natural habitats. Currently, several trial herds have been set up to measure their impact on the fauna and flora.
- Animal health: the Tour du Valat is very committed to the good health management of its livestock. It has signed up to the Charter of good breeding practices and undertaken to eradicate Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis from its herd.
- Rational economic management: farming is self-financed and respects the environment as well as the specifications of agro-environmental measures, organic farming, and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) "Taureau de Camargue".
Other Camargue breeders (manadiers), use 1000 ha of the pastures of the Tour du Valat for their herds. In line with the principles of the management plan, they follow specific requirements with regards to pasturing periods and grazing pressure.
Although hunting is a traditional activity on our estate, the ways of hunting are nonetheless restricted by innovative specifications. For example, traditional lead ammunition has been prohibited since 1994, to prevent the contamination of ducks by lead poisoning. In addition, the game that is killed is very precisely indexed, in order to supply reliable statistics for scientific studies. The Tour du Valat hunters’ group was created in 1964; it includes about 20 employees and people who have retired from the Station, and they hunt on 400 ha of the estate. Wild boar hunts -- to which hunters from the region are invited -- are also organised at the estate on a regular basis. Find out more about the Tour du Valat's position on hunting.