From the Guardian...
In a co-ordinated protest, members of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) destroyed hundreds of traps and set free the birds inside. The time had come, they said, to prioritise biodiversity over gastronomy.
"For 10 years now, not only has the state turned a blind eye [to the poachers] but it has been complicit," said Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, president of the LPO. "It is time to make the state face up to its responsibilities."
The hunting and selling of ortolans, which have suffered a Europe-wide decline of 40-50% in the last 40 years, has been illegal in France since 1999.
But that has not stopped hundreds of poachers setting traps to catch between 30,000 and 50,000 of the songbirds a year.
During the hunting season, which lasts from mid-August until the end of September, the birds are taken from their cages, fattened up in the dark and then drowned alive in Armagnac. Plucked and roasted, they are served whole.