LIPU’s 29th International Camp alerts on poaching!
LIPU’s (BirdLife in Italy) annual International ‘anti-poaching’ camp took place from April 28 to May 13. The participants’ main mission was to observe migratory birds and report on illegal hunting. The spring migration of raptors in Calabria (Italian region) this year has been characterised by a significant resumption of poaching in the south of the region. On the peak migration day (May 3), more than a hundred European Honey-buzzards were slaughtered. LIPU believes that the increase in poaching (which had almost disappeared) this year is largely due to the drastic reduction (for lack of funds) in the NOA’s staff (the anti-poaching operative task force of the State’s Forestry Corps), by the authorities.
This year, the NOA had only three patrols covering a migratory season of 25 days. Moreover, three patrols, although specialised, can’t cover the enormous territory over which migratory raptors disperse. In May, LIPU’s staff and volunteers’ action nevertheless led to the arrest of two poachers in the North of Calabria for illegal carrying of arms, and the prosecution of five other people for poaching and illegal killing of protected species. However, the monitoring of the NOA ended on May 21, while the migration will run until mid-June. The NOA’s resources and capacity must be increased; either the phenomenon of poaching against spring migratory birds of prey will gradually rise, eliminating the results achieved since 1985. It will also lead to a lost in legitimacy of the authorities in the region, as locally, a cut in the NOA’s budget is not supported. For more information, please contact Andrea Mazza, Responsible of Stampa’s Office, LIPU (BirdLife in Italy).