Skylarks are small (16-18 cm) birds breeding in open landscapes such as meadows, cereal fields, moorlands and dunes.
Hunting skylarks is legal and very popular in most of Italy. The arable fields and pasturelands around Foggia (Apulia, South-East Italy) are particular rich in larks during October and November representing an important stopover site for migratory skylarks and hunters from all over Italy come here to hunt them. Sadly the use of tapes and nets (both illegal) are very common in the area to catch both larks and quails. On the black markets it seems each lark alive is worth over 6 Euros.
LIPU estimates that many thousands larks are illegally caught every year. This area is among the 7 hotspots identified in Italy and recognised by the Italian National Action Plan to tackle IKB.
The law enforcement agencies, are active in the and we see some results.
Almost 500 skylarks were seized from poachers and released near Foggia following three separate law enforcement operations in the last few days.
- Date of seizure: October 22, 2017
- Numbers of seized birds: 500
- Country: Italy
- Species: Skylark (Alauda arvensis)