a European greenfinch

Italy and Malta are hotbeds of songbird poaching. Meet the people fighting to stop it.

Volunteers are squaring off against smugglers who traffic thousands of birds a year.

European greenfinches are among the protected songbird species targeted by poachers in Italy. Once caught, many are smuggled to the nearby island of Malta, where trappers use them as live bait to lure migrating finches.

Photograph by Sven Zacek, Nature Picture Library

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