CABS actions in Bolzano
Each year in May, bird-trappers and bird traders from all over northern Italy come to the orchards around Bolzano to plunder the nests of thrushes. The chicks are then marked with 'legal' breeding rings and are put on the market as alleged captive-bred offspring. The chicks are bought by hunters, who use them as live decoys to hunt songbirds and can thus shoot a particularly large number of thrushes.
The problem has been known for a long time, but it has become much more serious with the ban on decoy hunting in large trapping areas known as Roccoli in 2014, which was brought about following a lengthy CABS campaign. Since the bird traders are no longer able to meet the demands for live decoys, they are increasingly inclined to take the young birds from the wild.
In spring 2016, CABS started our work against chick theft in the fruit plantations of Bolzano. The aim of the bird protection camp, which takes place in May each year, is to conduct field investigations and gather evidence on poachers in such a way that the local police can convict the perpetrators in the act. In consultation with the farmers, our teams check the almost endless rows of fruit trees and search for active nests of thrushes marked by the poachers or suspicious persons. As a rule, we rely on foot and bicycle patrols, but we also monitor the plantations from the surrounding mountains. The operations take place during the day as well as at night.