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Illegal Trade in Birds and Wildlife - Naples (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Naples is not only the home of the Camorra; it is also the centre for poaching and of the illegal wildlife trade in Southern Italy. Finches are traditionally trapped in nets and cage traps on the slopes of Vesuvius, in order to spend the rest of their life confined in tiny cages. The trade in stuffed animals or exotic reptiles also booms in the metropolis.
On 12 October 2007 wildlife wardens from our partner organisation LIPU Napoli, in cooperation with the forest police, succeeded in exposing a poacher with 157 newly-caught Goldfinches which were immediately confiscated and released into the wild.

You can read more about this operation in Naples below
Operation against bird trapping and wildlife trade in Naples

Finch trapping on Mount Vesuvius
Greenfinches, Greenfinches and Siskins are traditionally considered to bring their owners luck in the sprawling conurbation of Naples (Campania/South Italy). Everywhere in the narrow streets and alleyways of the old town, stopped up with vehicle traffic, the song of these birds can be heard from countless balconies where they are confined in small cages. For many long term residents of Naples a finch in a cage is a typical household item.
The birds are still caught in large numbers in clap and mist nets, as well as special cage traps, above all on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. The birds are sold in normal pet shops, which also sell the necessary trapping accoutrements. The birds and equipment are often not just available `under the counter' but are openly on sale.
Under Italian law finch trapping is a crime, as is th3e sale and possession of traps and nets. But, in a city where the Camorra and its criminal activity are omnipresent, environmental crime is rather a mere peccadillo.
Raids on pet shops and taxidermists
Our partners from LIPU Napoli have specialised in combating this typically Neapolitan form of poaching and cooperate closely with the forest police in joint operations against bird trapping and illegal wildlife trade. Newly-caught song birds are regularly confiscated after observation of selected pet shops, as are the nets and large numbers of the small cage traps. Hundreds of finches and large amounts of trapping equipment are secured in this way every year.
Police and conservationists also find other protected species in such raids. In autumn 2006 alone, dozens of iguanas and protected turtles from the tropics were found and confiscated. In addition finds are made continually of deep frozen or stuffed birds on the premises of taxidermists.
In order to sensibilise the residents of Naples for wildlife protection and conservation, the forest police organise a large release action of confiscated birds once a year on the city perimeter. School classes are invited and attend to these `release ceremonies' and they provide the local media with a story on poaching and its consequences.
Great interest was generated by „Operazione Faraone" (Operation Pharaoh) in April 2007. This well-planned operation involved the arrests of three taxidermists in the Neapolitan suburbs of Giugliano, Ponticelli und Miano and the confiscation of 65 stuffed birds of protected species including Osprey, Common Crane, Lapwing and Hoopoe. In addition 11 deep frozen birds and animals (including 6 Kingfishers and several tortoises) and 8 living birds in cages were found and confiscated (several finch species and 4 Skylarks). Two nets and 1 cage trap were also secured.
The results of some of the operation pf our partners for LIPU Napoli and the police from the recent past are listed below:
2.10.2007 Together with the forest police wildlife wardens confiscate 157 Goldfinches from a notorious poacher. The birds were released after a veterinary examination.
14.09.2007: Four night time electronic bird lures located and removed on the island of Ischia.
10.08.2007 LIPU wardens and forest police confiscate 4 Goldfinches, 4 Serins, 3 Greenfinches, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Kestrel and a South American Cayman - all in the illegal possession of a wildlife collector.
25.05.2007 LIPU wardens and forest police confiscate 18 Serins, 14 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches and 2 Magpie chicks in a pet shop in Capoluogo.
17.04.2007: Carabinieri and forest police, together with LIPU wardens, confiscate 19 Goldfinches from a
pet shop owner in Fuorigrotta.
16.04.2007: Poachers shoot a little Egret on the River Sarno. The poacher escapes but the bird is rescued and brought to the LIPU recovery station.
05.04.2007: During "Operazione Faraone" 3 taxidermists are arrested and 65 stuffed birds, 11 deep frozen birds and animals and 8 living birds are found and confiscated
31.01.2007: LIPU wardens and provincial police arrest 2 poachers in the “Parco Metropolitano” near Camaldoli, who were shooting at the first migrating birds. Their shotguns and 60 cartridges are confiscated.
26.01.2007: In Marigliano, north of Mount Vesuvius, LIPU wardens confiscate 2 foxes, 2 Red Deer and 2 Moufflon sheep. A local farmer had kept them illegally as a ‚tourist attraction'
LIPU operations are financially supported by CABS from donations collected mainly in Germany. If you want to add your support we would be very grateful for any donation towards our international nature and wildlife protection work.

Ann :-C:egghead:
On behalf of David Conlin Proact


Well-known member
Hi Ann,
Its great to read that something is actually being done to police this damaging practice. Like everywhere in this world us humans seem to feel that the word tradition can excuse us for any action. I think people would be shocked to discover just how many 'traditions' are being practised all over western europe.
Keep up the good work.
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