Hunting ban areas, game protection areas, quiet zones, game reserves

Hunting ban areas, game protection areas, quiet zones, game reserves
In French game reserves, hunting is strictly prohibited. Habitat improvements should. © Yann Kohler

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, Nature protection, Municipalities

Affected habitats

Forest, Shrubs and wooded areas, Bogs and fens, wetlands, Alpine habitats, Grassland, Arable land, Areas for settlements and transport, Waterbodies


These various types of areas are intended to protect flora and fauna from disturbance or pressure from hunting. They are subject to different regulations, depending on the country or region: in Switzerland’s “quiet zones” for game, for example, tourists, sportspersons and visitors may not leave the paths at specific times or enter the habitats of sensitive and rare species of fauna. Other activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, camping or organised sports events are also governed by specific rules. Alpine farming and agricultural/forest management are not affected by restrictions in the quiet zones, and hunting is also permitted. In France, on the other hand, hunting is strictly prohibited in the game reserves, as it is in Switzerland’s hunting ban areas and game protection areas.


Impact in particular on Big mammals
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats Designation of these areas is often accompanied by habitat improvement measures (in France, this is mandatory for game reserves under hunting legislation).
Element of ecological network Depending on the size of the designated spaces, these areas can act as core zones or stepping stone biotopes in a biotope network, especially for sensitive species of bird and ungulates.
Time of realisation for measure Immediate: A change in the behaviour of red deer, for example, in quiet zones can be observed within a short period (diurnal activity, confidence).
Impact scope Local (municipality): Depending on species, the measure can have substantial local and regional impacts by reducing damage to agriculture and forestry; this is mainly dependent on the size of the designated zone.


Implementation period Weeks: The administrative process involved in designation of a new area may take some time. In France, for example, the reserves are confirmed by the prefect by decree.
Frequency Non-recurring

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Very low (less than 1'000 EUR): Costs arise solely in relation to the administrative process (planning, designation) and possibly publicity/signage.
Socio-economic impacts Low: May help to prevent damage to agriculture and forestry in some regions.
Sources of financing Other private sources, Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national
Legal situation The establishment of these areas is regulated by national and regional forest and hunting legislation. In France, 10% of the area of a communal hunting association (ACCA) must be designated a game reserve.

Further information

Evaluation Experience in Switzerland has shown that the game reserves enjoy wide acceptance among the local communities and sportspersons if appropriate information is provided. Hunters generally also respect the hunting bans in these areas.
Information Other: Association of French Hunters: Swiss cantonal administrations (hunting departments), e.g. Obwalden Canton

Download PDF

Find measures according to your needs

With the help of the search function you can filter out measures that are most appropriate for your context. You can e.g. choose the involved sectors or species which measures should address.