Anti-poaching success – Po Delta
“PO DELTA 2021” VAST ANTI-POACHING OPERATION CONCLUDED BY THE CARABINIERI FORESTALI:
22 COMPLAINTS, 1 ARREST, ALMOST 1,000 DEAD DUCKS.
LIPU VOLUNTEERS IN SUPPORT OF THE MILITARY
Twenty-two people reported, one of whom was arrested; over 6,000 cartridges, 21 rifles and 9 banned decoys seized; almost 1,000 dead ducks found in the freezers of the reported persons.
These are the numbers of the large anti-poaching operation just concluded in the Po Delta, in the provinces of Rovigo, Ferrara, Venice and Ravenna, by the Carabinieri CITES – Operational Department – SOARDA with the Carabinieri Forestali units of the provinces concerned, the Carabinieri Biodiversity Department of Punta Marina and with the precious collaboration of LIPU and Cabs volunteers.
The day and night checks were carried out inside and outside a number of hunting estates, in lagoons and wetlands, also using boats. The homes of some of the 22 poachers charged were searched, resulting in nearly 1,000 dead ducks, most likely heading to the black market for restaurants, found in freezers, including Mallard, Teal, Pintail, Gadwall and Wigeon, as well as a White-fronted Goose, a protected species.
The poachers were caught while using illegal decoys. Nine devices were seized. Among the 22 persons reported there is also one arrested for possession of illegal weapons in his home in Campagna Lupia (Venice), as well as three thousand rounds of ammunition of various calibres and a stuffed Shelduck, a particularly protected species.
A large quantity of weapons was seized, amounting to 21 shotguns and rifles with 6,000 cartridges, as well as 3 machines for plucking birds and a workshop where clandestine slaughtering was carried out. Important documents useful for future investigations were also seized.
“The Po Delta, one of the most important sites in Europe for wintering birds, is also an IKB hotspot according to the National Action Plan against poaching,” says Aldo Verner, president of Lipu. “Thanks to the commitment and passion of our volunteers, we have contributed to this massive operation by the Carabinieri Forestali, whom we thank. Controls must definitely be stepped up, but above all we need to turn over a new leaf in terms of protection. It is unacceptable that an area of global natural importance such as the Po Delta is still not a national park. It is time to heal this wound”.
Translated from the Italian by Umberto Gallo-Orsi