Last May, two young Egyptian vultures born in the same litter, Clara and Bianca, were released in the South of Italy as part of the Egyptian Vulture Life Project.
During their migration, both died. Clara was shot with a hunting gun in Western Sicily while Bianca was probably poisoned in Tunisia.
The western part of Sicily has always been known to be a black spot where widely spread poaching essentially targets birds of prey during their autumn migration, says Guido Cicollini, head of the CERM.
Clara’s case is the tip of the iceberg and her fate was revealed through her GPS data tracker fixed on her back.
These episodes are of unprecedented seriousness if we consider that the Egyptian vulture is the most endangered species in Italy where only 6 to 8 couples remain. Two years ago the Italian population was 10 to 12 couples.
The death of these two birds has woken up the Italian public opinion and raised awareness to the killing of birds of prey during migration.
The CERM calls for an urgent change in the law in order to ban an early-September start of the hunting season. As a matter of fact, the possibility to hunt in September makes the poaching of migratory species a well-established practice.
CERM : Centre for the protection of threatened birds of prey, located Via Santa Cristina in Italy.
Translated by Claudine Caillet
- TWO CAPTIVE-BRED EGYPTIAN VULTURES RELEASED IN ITALY IN 2018. BOTH KILLED BY MAN, Associazione di volontariato CERM Centro Rapaci Minacciati Via Santa Cristina, 6 58055 Rocchette di Fazio (GR) Italia
- Two Egyptian Vultures released in Italy died: one was shot, the other probably poisoned : MaghrebOrnitho Birding and Ornithology in Morocco and the Maghreb