Despite a hunting ban in place in Albania, illegal hunting and poaching continue during the hunting season. One of the most common sights is the use of calling devices to coax out and kill the ever-elusive Common quail (Coturnix coturnix).
Poachers strategically place calling devices in rural areas under the jurisdiction of small police stations, betting on their lack of capacity, training, and tools to get away with their crimes. To help push back, PPNEA regularly monitors a pilot area called Lalzi bay, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.
Recently, a team of PPNEA members and volunteers found a calling device which they removed after calling the police. The owner of the device was angrily threatening the monitoring team as the police arrived, yet police did not take any action against the unarmed poacher. The device was sent to the police station, with the monitoring team thinking nothing more will come from this intervention.
But fortunately, they were wrong. The local anti-poaching group have reported to PPNEA that police no longer allow calling devices to be placed in the area, and there have since been cases where devices have been removed, without any intervention needed from PPNEA. The PPNEA team was also contacted by National Inspectorate for the Protection of Territory in Durres Region to help them localize and destroy the hunting hides in Lalzi bay, where eleven of them were removed.