BLM receives 2 illegally shot protected birds just as season opens
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This year’s spring hunting season opened this morning and BirdLife Malta in a statement today, advised of what it said are the latest “illegally shot protected birds received just a few hours before the start of the spring hunting season for this year.”
A Marsh Harrier (Baghdan Ahmar) found by the public in Mgarr, Malta and a Yellow-legged Gull (Gawwija Prima) also found by a member of the public at Tas-Safra have both been confirmed shot, BLM said.
BirdLife said that the total of illegal hunting casualties for 2019 so far now stands at 22.
The NGO said that the spring hunting season is open until the 30th of April, from two hours before sunrise till 12pm every day of the season added that the dates were extended further towards the end of the month when compared to last year.
It argued that “effectively this means that this year’s will be an open season for the hunting of Turtle Dove since the dates clearly overlap onto the peak migration period of the red-listed Turtle Dove during the last two weeks of April.”
The season is only open for hunting of quail with a national season quota set at 5,000 Quail – BirdLife pointed out that both the daily quota and the individual season quota have been removed.
A total of 7,647 hunters applied for the hunting licence – 6,395 registered hunters in Malta, 1,252 in Gozo, BirdLife Malta said.
BirdLife Malta said that it will be monitoring the hunting season “with the aim of reporting and documenting the killing of protected species, especially the Turtle Dove.”
The NGO said that it is also planning to raise awareness on how to identify and report any illegal hunting.
BirdLife Malta has prepared a video which explains all the public needs to know about the very evident differences between the Quail and the Turtle Dove.
The NGO explained that “it will help the public recognise which of these birds are being hunted and enable them to identify any illegal hunting taking place.”
BirdLife Malta is advising the public that if they witness illegal hunting, they should take the following steps:
1. Contact the police on 119
2. Contact BirdLife Malta on 2134764 5/6 (office hours) & 7925 5697 (evenings and weekends)
3. Take photos/video for evidence
4. For more information about hunting and the laws in Malta, please click here.