Nearly 40,000 followers on Facebook. On the account Carnet de berger, Joseph Boussion tells and illustrates his daily life: postcard landscapes, explanatory posts, his rants and his adventures. The shepherd has been keeping a flock of 1,100 ewes in Gialorgues, in the town of Saint-Dalmas-le-Selvage since June 12. “I came to Haute-Tinée for the local pastoral culture and to work with guard dogs. It’s a great mountain,” he enthuses.
Two attempted attacks
Basque of origin, he has nine dogs, kangals, under his responsibility. Berger since 2017, he had never had so many. “In the Mercantour, we are in a predation zone. Packs of wolves are constantly present. Last year, 3,000 sheep were killed”, he says. The herd suffered two attempted attacks. Joseph Boussion remains calm because he knows he can count on the dogs: “They are much more than colleagues. They are sirens, law enforcement, firefighters.”
A personal transhumance
“When I talked about these dogs on my account, I had a spike in subscribers”, remembers Joseph. Publications that he puts online as soon as he has a network. “This account, I think it’s part of my job, recognizes the former communicator. It also allows me to have transparency with my employers.” Through this page, he exchanges with shepherds from the Var and Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée. “Before, it was during fairs that we communicated, now a community of shepherds has been created on social networks”he observes.
Both on the web and in the field, Joseph Boussion meets people from all walks of life. His status as an itinerant shepherd allows him to work on different mountains. Gialorgues is his seventh: “It’s a kind of personal transhumance.” In August, he will join Issias, still in Haute-Tinée.