Dates announced for trapping Song Thrush & Golden Plover

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Dates announced for trapping Song Thrush & Golden Plover“Upon recommendation by the Malta Ornis Committee, and consideration of the applicable legal and conservation parameters,” the Government said that it has today published Legal Notice 280 – Conservation of Wild Birds (Declaration on a Derogation for a 2013 Autumn Live-Capturing season) Regulations, 2013, “which announces the opening of a limited live-capturing season for Golden Plover and Song Thrush under strictly supervised conditions.”

Reference is also made to Legal Notice 303 – Conservation of Wild Birds (Framework for Allowing a Derogation Opening an Autumn Live-Capturing Season for Song Thrush and Golden Plover) Regulations, 2012, as amended by Legal Notice 279 of 2013, which sets the legal parameters that need to be considered when opening any autumn live-capturing season for Song Thrush and Golden Plover in Malta.

The Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) is hereby announcing a call for applications for a Special Autumn Live-Capturing Licence, “which would permit the limited trapping of the two bird species only, namely Song Thrush and Golden Plover under strictly supervised conditions as prescribed by the above Legal Notices.”

The live-capturing of Song Thrush will be permitted between the 20th October 2013 and the 31st December 2013, both dates included, whilst live-capturing of Golden Plover should be permitted between the 20th October 2013 and the 10th January 2014, both dates included.

The WBRU said that the bag limit for the Autumn live-capturing season is being set at 5,000 for Song Thrush and 1,150 for Golden Plover as the total number of birds which may be captured under the authority of all issued licences taken together.

“An individual season’s bag limit of 6 birds per license 2ill also apply. As was the case last year, licensees will be required to report each bird caught via sms on the mobile number that will be provided in the licence.”

As was the case last year, no trapping shall be allowed on “Xaghri” within Natura 2000 sites. The maps of such areas where trapping is prohibited may be viewed on the website: http://www.mepa.org.mt/biodiversity-autumntrapping2012.

WBRU said that “cultivated agricultural fields, which are officially registered with and accepted by the Paying Agency for the purpose of cultivating agricultural crops and can also be identified as agricultural fields on the aerial photo maps of 2008 published by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, and which are located within the boundaries indicated in the maps published by the Director for Environment Protection in terms of Regulation 2 of the Legal Notice 303 of 2012, are not designated as “Xaghri.”

Only persons in possession of a valid Carnet de Chasse for the years 2013-2014 issued in terms of the Conservation of Wild Birds Regulations, 2006 are eligible to apply for such a Special Licence.

“Applicants must also be able to show that the trapping sites (a maximum of two per licensee) from where the live-capturing will be carried out under the Special Autumn Live-Capturing Licence have been registered with the Commissioner of Police.”

Application forms may be collected from all MaltaPost branches in Malta and Gozo. They may also be downloaded from the website http://www.environment.gov.mt under the link to “Wild Birds Regulation Unit.”

Applications will be received between Monday 23rd September and Saturday 28th September 2013 at MaltaPost branches during office hours. Upon the submission of the application form, the applicant (or his / her representative) is required to pay €10 (ten Euros) and present his/her identity Card and Carnet de Chasse booklet for 2013-2014.

The applicants will also be required to hand over, together with the application form, a photocopy of the site plan/s of trapping sites (maximum of two sites) outlined in red duly registered with and stamped by the Commissioner of Police.

Applications may be submitted on behalf of the applicant provided the person applying on applicant’s behalf also presents his/her Identity Card.

In accordance with Regulation 6(g) of the Legal Notice 303 of 2012, licensed trappers will only be allowed to have in their possession whilst at the capturing site or when travelling to or from the capturing site up to a total of ten birds from either the Golden Plover or Song Thrush that may be used as live-decoys.

“In order for a bird to be considered as a live-decoy, it will bear a single-use ring which is approved and provided for that purpose by the Wild Birds Regulation Unit. These rings will be sent to the applicant together with the Special Licence via registered mail.”

WBRU said that “when applying for Special Autumn Live-Capturing License, trappers will be required to indicate the number of live decoys from the two species they intend to use at the capturing site. Single-use rings approved by the Director shall be available at a cost of €0.50 (fifty euro cents) per ring, which shall be paid in addition to the Special License fee.”

Any enquiries in relation to application process may be channelled via email on wildbirds@gov.mt or via the phone on 2388 6214 during office hours.

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