THE Guardia Civil has seized 303 protected specimens which have been released back into the wild and is investigating 18 people for wildlife trafficking.

Among the birds seized by Seprona officers were finches, sparrows and linnets, all of which are non-game species and therefore cannot be hunted.

The investigation, ‘Operation ‘Durum,’ was triggered by the Seprona nature protection branch of the Guardia Civil in Malaga province after the sale of protected birds was spotted on internet portals.

18 people are being investigated for illegal capture and trafficking of protected species.

Seprona officers also confiscated bird trapping paraphernalia, found at various locations in the province, including 14 folding nets, three ultra-thin, nearly invisible monofilament netting and feeders used to catch the birds.


Ten poachers were caught red-handed with live protected birds and, one of them with 49 dead birds.

The Guardia Civil has said in an official statement that “The poaching of these birds causes serious damage to the environment, as they are a fundamental part of our ecosystems, and these practices are expressly prohibited.”

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