Type de publication:



Natures Sciences Sociétés, EDP Sciences, Volume 16, Ticket 3, p.232-240 (2008)



Numéro d'appel:





parc national des Écrins


This article draws on a field investigation of the reactions triggered by a marmots' contraception experiment which was recently carried out in a French national park. We start by positioning this experiment in a broader context and show that similar experiments started a few decades ago in Anglo-Saxon countries, where they stirred up some harsh controversies, especially over ethical issues. If the idea of resorting to contraception is new in France, there is an old tradition of managing nature, even if national parks, which we illustrate with several examples. We then describe the history of this particular experiment and we question the reactions collected in the interviews, in order to show how they renew the debate between different groups of actors. The experiment aimed at reconciling the presence of marmots and agricultural activities. However, it was unexpectedly criticized by environmentalists and by farmers, who sometimes used surprisingly similar terms, especially when they mentioned the possible side effects of contraception on marmots and wildlife in general. Critical voices claimed that the park was failing in its protection task and that it was not taking into account local stakes and knowledge. Tiny as it is, this affair testifies the inappropriateness of the binary opposition between farmers and nature protectors and the development of controversies wherever new modes of intervention on the living are being implemented.À partir d'une enquête sur une expérimentation de contraception de marmottes dans un parc national, l'article analyse la reconfiguration des groupes d'acteurs tenants de différents rapports aux animaux sauvages, au-delà de l'opposition entre exploitants et protecteurs. Alors que l'expérimentation cherchait à concilier la présence des marmottes et l'activité agricole, elle suscite en effet des critiques, parfois partagées par les environnementalistes et les agriculteurs, qui visent tant un manquement à la mission de protection du parc qu'un défaut de prise en compte des enjeux et savoirs locaux. Nous resituons cette affaire dans le contexte de la controverse anglo-saxonne, plus ancienne, entourant le recours à la contraception animale afin de montrer combien elle témoigne de la montée de nouvelles formes de gestion du vivant, renouvelant les débats sur le rapport à la nature.


Humanities and Social Sciences/SociologyJournal articles

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