Nature Trust Malta reports ducks killed at il-Maghluq
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Nature Trust ;alta has reported a case of animal abuse that it said has taken place at il-Maghluq in Marsaskala also known as the duck pond. “The salt marshland which can be found near the centre of Marsaskala and which is now home to dozens of ducks and their young, has been recently subjected to vadalism and resulted in the killing of two ducks. Further ducks were seen floating dead over the next days.”
NTM said that Il-Maghluq is a Natura 2000 site categorised as an SAC, Special Area of Conservation. The water there is a result of fresh water from the surrounding villages meeting the sea water from the inner bay in Marsaskala. “The area was used as an early form of aquaculture until the middle of the 20th century. However when the road and promenade were built the construction resulted in the severance of the flow between fresh and salt water, leaving the enclosed area subjected to stagnation. Despite inserting pipes to aid the flow, the natural circulation was lost.”
“The introduction of the ducks, led to a decline in the health of the marshland. The ducks lured in rats and sources state that the construction of the new bypass disturbed the rats and sent them fleeing to Marsaskala, infesting the roads and the marshland until the Local Council took action and removed the infestation. Throughout the years, the marshland became a dumping site littered with glass bottles, icecream cups and takeaway containers,” Nature Trust Malta said.
“The site will be undergoing a management plan as part of the Natura 2000 network plan, however the state of the area and the welfare of the ducks must be addressed immediately,” said Vince Attard, Executive President of Nature Trust who is helping the Local Council restore the area.
Now is the hatching season and many of the ducks are sitting on their eggs, making them more vulnerable to danger. The NGO abhorred such behaviour and stated, “we urge the public espcially those who have been throwing the stones at the ducks to take a step back and show some humanity to these living creatures. We shouldn’t tolerate such behaviour any more and such incidents should be reported immediately to the police.”
The NGO urges the authorities to find a suitable place for the ducks to be rehomed so as to avoid any further degradation on the sensitive ecology of the area.
The Mayor from Marsaskala Local Council added that the Council had carried out several meetings with Government entities over the years, but all had fallen on deaf ears.
A spokesperson from Friends of Marsakala who have been working to help make Marsaskala a better place to live, emphasised the importance of reporting such incidents to the local police on 21827103 or Animal Welfare on 22924132, 22924113.