The FACE position on wildlife crime acknowledges the work of hunting associations throughout Europe in advising and helping enforcement authorities in practice with combatting wildlife crime. This work by the Fundación Artemisan is another good example.
Wildlife crime and wildlife trafficking are a threat, not only to the public perception about hunting, but mostly important for nature’s future. Because of the many hours that hunters spend in nature across Europe they are well placed citizens to prevent or detect wildlife crime or trafficking.
In Spain, the Fundación Artemisan, one landowner from Cádiz and the Hunter’s Federation of Andalusia joined to formally accuse an alleged group of poachers that were caught trespassing into a private hunting ground. They are suspected of capturing, through illegal methods, wild Red-legged Partridges (Alectoris rufa) and selling them on the black market.
This story began when the gamekeeping team of the hunting state, seeing a car trespassing the property called the Spanish authorities, who in a fast action approached the suspects and found in their car a large net, typically used for capture partridges, a spotlight with battery and 3 live partridge individuals for attracting other birds.
Once the facts were gathered, the Fundación Artemisan and the hunting state owner took the case to court, being the suspects formally accused and are now awaiting trial. Which is already a victory, since cases like these are usually resolved with a fine, without the suspects facing criminal charges.
Wildlife trafficking of wild red-legged partridge is a major concern for Cádiz’s hunters and landowners. This region of Spain has an important abundance of Alectoris rufa being threatened for this illegal activity, that is mainly persecuted in the breeding season causing an important loss of partridge, partridge chicks and nests.
The united efforts between hunters and authorities is essential to fight wildlife crime and make nature safer for all animal species.