In Drosophila, telomere-capping proteins have the remarkable capacity to recognize chromosome ends in a sequence-independent manner. This epigenetic protection is essential to prevent catastrophic ligations of chromosome extremities. Interestingly, capping proteins occupy a large telomere chromatin domain of several kilobases; however, the functional relevance of this to end protection is unknown. Here, we investigate the role of the large capping domain by manipulating HOAP (encoded by caravaggio) capping-protein expression in the male germ cells, where telomere protection can be challenged without compromising viability. We show that the exhaustion of HOAP results in a dramatic reduction of other capping proteins at telomeres, including K81 <up>encoded by ms(3)K81</up>, which is essential for male fertility. Strikingly however, we demonstrate that, although capping complexes are barely detected in HOAP-depleted male germ cells, telomere protection and male fertility are not dramatically affected. Our study thus demonstrates that efficient protection of Drosophila telomeres can be achieved with surprisingly low amounts of capping complexes. We propose that these complexes prevent fusions by acting at the very extremity of chromosomes, reminiscent of the protection conferred by extremely short telomeric arrays in yeast or mammalian systems.