CAGLIARI, ITALYAs a choir of songbirds creates a melodic soundtrack, 10 anti-poaching activists are hiding out among dense shrubs in the mountains overlooking this city on the southern Italian island of Sardinia. They’re hoping to spot an illegal bird trapper who’s known to be active in the area. “This guy is like a Swiss clock,” says Giovanni Malara, the team’s leader. “He checks his nets and heads back at exactly the same time every day.”
Moments later, a turquoise motorbike comes racing down a narrow dirt road. “That’s him,” Malara exclaims. Now the second part of the operation—finding his bird traps—begins.
The activists, members of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), a conservation organization that conducts anti-poaching operations, fan out