Monitoring duck hunting in the Po Delta
The Veneto lagoons around the Po Delta, which gave the city of Venice its nickname, stretch over more than 700 square kilometres along the Italian Adriatic coast. They are a magnet for both water birds and hunters. In the huge wetlands, which can only be reached via a few roads, thousands of hunters stalk ducks each winter. Hunting is allowed in principle, but many hunters do not respect daily bag limits, shoot protected species, use electronic decoys or sell birds illegally to restaurants.
CABS has been working since 2017 to improve bird migration protection in the Po Delta. During the winter hunting season from November to January we monitor the duck hunting on several extended weekends. Since most crimes are difficult to detect, we concentrate on the search for the widely audible electronic decoys. Where such devices are found, we try to film the perpetrators and carry out checks together with the police.
The problem is not only the proving hunting violations, but also the terrain itself: In the completely flat area you can hardly hide and most access roads are guarded, so that the perpetrators are quickly informed about our presence. It is extremely complicated to carry out a police operation here. For this reason, we pay special attention to the documentation of the hunt in the Po Delta. We are hoping that this will increase our awareness of the issue and improve our chances of extending hunting prohibition zones and increasing police controls.