Bird-trapping and spring hunting at Ponza and Palmarola
The small islands of Ponza and Palmarola lie far off the coast of the Lazio region. Many birds that migrate along the Italian coast come to rest here. This circumstance and the isolated location have made both islands an eldorado for poaching - at least until the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) bird protection camps started in the 1990s.
In April and May, when late migrant insectivores such as whinchats, redstarts, pied flycatchers, wheatears and nightingales arrive on their way to the breeding grounds in Italy, the bird trappers on Ponza and Palmarola set up small traps. The metal snap traps are baited with maggots and positioned in gardens and on coastal cliffs to catch and kill many birds. Some of them also use nets and cages. The songbirds are considered a regional delicacy, especially during the Easter season.