The Common Hamster (Cricetus cricetus L.) is a rodent which is specific in France of the plains of Alsace. It has long been regarded as a pest which destroys harvests. In Alsace, its eradication has been promoted into the 1980s. However, the Bern Convention, ratified by France in 1990, has ranked it among protected species. The transition from a much hated animal to a protected one, was not always accepted by farmers who are the main actors involved in the protective measures implemented in the convention. This article focuses on the role played by the different actors in this conflict (local, national and international administrations, the associations for nature’s conservation, the farmers, etc.) and it deals with the choices which are made according to the political, economic and societal trends of the moment.
Common hamster, agricultural environment, anthropology, socia lrepresentations, Alsace.