The Strait of Messina, which separates Sicily from the Italian mainland, is a critical point of convergence for many birds’ migration routes. However, this also makes it one of Europe’s worst “black spots” for illegal poaching, especially for raptors such as the European Honey Buzzard. Birds of prey are killed for meat or for the illegal exotic animal trade, and sport hunting especially has had a long history there, and for generations, as many as 5,000 honey buzzards were killed yearly despite hunting bans . This is because of a widespread local superstition in Sicilian and Calabrian macho culture that men who do not kill at least one honey buzzard per year would be cuckolded . Yet because the practice is also very profitable, in contemporary times it has become a low-risk high-reward crime that many people use to make a lot of quick cash, from small-scale hobbyists to families looking for extra income to large criminal organizations . The ‘Ndrangheta, a prominent Calabrian mafia group, also scores huge profits from illegal gun trade to the small villages around the strait .