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Sardinia bird protection camp autumn 2009

Camp diary

Several bird protection camps organised by CABS and its Italian partner organisations are again being conducted in Italy from the beginning of October to mid-December 2009. The season opens with the large scale camp in Brescia, North Italy. This is followed by a camp on Sardinia, and several operations in southern Italy.

Thrushes, Robins and other birds found dead in the snares in SardiniaThrushes, Robins and other birds found dead in the snares in SardiniaWe will regularly publish information here concerning the progress of the camps and operations. In this way you can keep up to date with the running totals of nets and traps we have dismantled, the number of poachers caught by our teams and how many live decoy birds are given back their freedom.

All these camps and operations are funded by CABS and by the generous aid contributed by the Karl Kaus -Foundation for Nature and Wildlife (Karl Kaus-Stiftung für Tier und Natur). You too can support us by making a donation towards the costs of our international nature and wildlife protection work. We are very grateful for all support received, however small.

If you are interested in taking part in any of our operations you can read here about the conditions and qualifications for taking part.

Grand totals for autumn 2009:

  • Snares collected: 11,310
  • Nets collected: 2


The participants in the Sardinian bird protection camp left the island today. This completes the annual operations by CABS and its Italian partners for 2009.


Song Thrush killed by a ground snareSong Thrush killed by a ground snareThis was the final day of operations for the 2nd bird protection camp run by our Italian partner organisation on Sardinia. The trapping sites visited by the remaining 7 participants were almost all abandoned. Only 270 horsehair snares - and thankfully no dead birds were found. The snares were removed.


Today was very quiet on Sardinia. The LAC activists spent the whole day in a nature park in the south of the island where dozens of nets have been found in past years. Today not a single net was found and all the trapping sites were totally abandoned.

At one location however 200 horsehair snares were found and removed.


Another busy day on Sardinia. The 11 activists found and dismantled 450 horsehair snares for birds and 3 wire mammal snares. Two Song Thrushes and 2 Robins were found strangled in the bird traps.

500 prepared trapping sites, without snares, were also found.


Today the activists had their hands full. In addition to 200 bird traps they also found 32 mammal snares and 2 large mist nets.

Two Robins were found in the traps, one of which could be released. The other was already dead.


CABS volunteer removes a snareCABS volunteer removes a snareThe 11 remaining participants in the Sardinian bird protection camp conducted search operations today in beautiful autumn weather. They found and dismantled 1,200 illegal horsehair bird snares. A Blue Tit and a Robin were found dead in snares.

As in the days previously many sites were prepared for bird trapping but the fine horsehair snares were not in place. These prepared sites - today about 1,000 - were destroyed so that the trappers could not set their snares without further preparation.

A total of 7 wire snares for deer and other mammals were also found and removed. One oft hem held a wild boar, literally ‚alive and kicking‘. So much so that after its release it charged one of our female activists who ended up in hospital with a broken leg. The boar was last seen alive and well!


It was relatively quite on Sardinia today. The LAC activists found practically only abandoned trapping sites from previous years. Some 50 active snares were removed and 500 prepared sites destroyed.

In addition 3 wire snares for wild boar were found and removed.


Today, the first day of operations, 13 Italian activists located and removed 180 horsehair snares in the south-east of the island. A further 400 prepared sites, where snares had not yet been laid, were destroyed.

Three Song Thrushes and a Robin were found dead in the snares.


A second bird protection camp run by our Italian partner organisation LAC takes place from 5 to 13 December 2009 on Sardinia. The 13 participants will search for and dismantle horsehair snares and nets illegally set out in the south of the island to trap birds. The operation is being financed by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter.

The activists arrived on the island today.


A Robin luckily saved from a snareA Robin luckily saved from a snare Today was the last day of operations on Sardinia. The activists continued their searches in the area where they had broken off their operations at dusk the previous evening. A total of 490 horsehair snares were found and dismantled. The only trapped bird - a Blackbird - was released unharmed.

This first operation on Sardinia in 2009, which began on 14 November, was conducted by 14 activists from the Italian nature protection organisations LAC and LIPU. During the course of the camp a total of 6,160 illegal snares were dismantled. The next operational period on Sardinia, also supported with financial support from CABS, is the LAC bird protection camp at the start of December.


Today, the last but one day of this year's Sardinian camp, only 5 activists were deployed. They found and dismantled 600 snares near the provincial capital of Calgiari and a Robin and a Song Thrush - both dead - were recovered. Five of the LIPU activists were on a different type of operation. They visited schools in poaching hot spots and talked to schoolchildren about the importance of bird protection.


After yesterday’s hard work today was again quiet. Two groups were out on operations, one of which found only old and abandoned trap lines. The other team found and dismantled 300 active snares but no birds had been trapped.


Today there was a lot to do on Sardinia. The 12 activists visited a completely new area that had not previously been visited by conservationists on previous camps. Her they found a grand total of 3,020 horsehair snares. The traps belonged to a single, clearly highly professional poacher. This is one of the largest trapping sites ever found on the island.

Thanks to the rather sluggish migration (it is too warm at present in Central and Southern Europe) only 12 birds were found dead in the snares. These included 2 Blackbirds, 9 Song Thrushes and a Sparrowhawk. If migration had been in full swing several dozen birds could have been found in the traps.


The now 11 camp participants located and dismantled 550 horsehair snares today. Five birds (3 Blackbirds and 2 Song Thrushes) were found dead in the traps and a further Blackbird and a Eurasian Jay were released unharmed.

At about 3.00 pm the activists were disturbed by a poacher, who threw stones at them without warning. Happily no one was injured.


"Lacci di pianta" - tree snares, according to the regional tradition"Lacci di pianta" - tree snares, according to the regional traditionToday was sunny and clear with temperatures reaching 22 ° C. The activists searched an area which was considered dangerous in previous years but no trappers were accosted. The teams were able to dismantle 700 snares without incident. Although this sounds a large number, many trap lines were abandoned and many more snares were found here in past operations. Five birds - 2 Robins, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Blackbird and 1 Fieldfare were found dead.


First day of operations on Sardinia. Today the 8 Italian activists found and dismantled 500 illegal bird snares. Another 200 sites were prepared for trapping. A total of 15 birds were found in the brutal snares of which only a Fieldfare was still alive and could be freed.


The participants in the first of this years bird protection camps on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia arrived today. In the afternoon, with a late summer temperature of 21 ° C, the areas near the accommodation were checked for bird snares. Only old and abandoned trapping sites were found. Operations begin for real tomorrow!