The Guardia Civil has investigated 2 people for using illegal gear to capture more than 270 birds, the vast majority being protected.
The Guardia Civil, due to the fact that it is the breeding season for finches and with the aim of preventing the capture of protected birds, has carried out various surveillance activities in the area in recent months. As a result of these activities in the area known as “Camino Bayo”, belonging to the municipality of Liria in Valencia, several illegal devices were found ready for use.
The area was baited with abundant grain used as an attractant for birds. There were also 2 Japanese nets installed, 8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Likewise, they found a tree fenced around its perimeter with chicken eggs and cat food scattered on the ground. In the tree, there was an opening that facilitated the entrance of the birds. This was activated remotely by means of a rope that caused its closure and the capture of the specimens that had entered the interior.
The agents carried out an exhaustive examination of the surroundings of the place and found two large nurseries, where there were more than 220 caged protected birds, both by national legislation and by international agreements.
The birds were in perfect condition, so they were released for their development in nature.
The released birds were 7 thrushes (Turdus rufiventris), 4 Turkish pigeons (Streptopelia decaocto), 1 partridge (Alectoris rufa), 110 goldfinches (Cardelius cardelius), 38 common linnets (Acanthis cannabina cannabina), 10 siskins (Cardelius spinus), 20 song thrushes (Turdus rufiventris), 1 common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), 30 greenfinches (Chloris chloris).
The Guardia Civil also seized 3 bottles of glue for capturing birds and 500 sticks for impregnating rubber bands for use as a non-selective capture method.
Add that the capture of finches is prohibited by regional, state and international regulations through the European Convention signed by Spain and that is transferred to state and regional regulations.
Finally, the agents have investigated a 54-year-old man for 2 crimes against flora and fauna for the use of non-selective capture gear and for the capture of birds protected by International Conventions and state legislation.
In addition to this investigation, the Guardia Civil of Valencia went to the area known as “El Quint”, belonging to the municipality of Riba-Roja de Turia, and found another agricultural field primed with abundant grain that was surrounded by vegetation that was hidden. In the different services, the agents detected the person responsible barricaded, holding a rope that activated a trap to capture the birds that were feeding on the grain.
After identifying the author of the facts, the agents carried out a more detailed inspection of the area. They found 4 cages hanging from the branches of a tree. Inside, there were several finches; three goldfinches and a canary-goldfinch hybrid. In the centre of the enclosure, another goldfinch used as a decoy was observed, one of its legs being tied to a piece of wood anchored to the ground.
When inspecting the nets, four finches were located; 2 Carduelis carduelis (goldfinches), 1 Passer domesticus (sparrow) and 1 Serinus serinus (little serin).
Likewise, the 5 birds used as lures were confiscated; 4 goldfinches and 1 canary-goldfinch hybrid, which were subsequently transferred to the recovery centre “La Granja del Saler” to be treated there by qualified personnel and for their subsequent release.
The rest of the wild birds captured, after verifying that they were in perfect condition, were released and returned to their natural habitat.
The investigation ended with a 60-year-old person of Spanish nationality being investigated for a crime against flora and fauna for the use of non-selective gear for capture.
The proceedings have been delivered to the Environment Prosecutor’s Office of the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community.