Malta criminals kill spoonbills

This is a spoonbill video.

From BirdLife:

Record number of Spoonbills seeking shelter from storm greeted with gunfire in Malta

Mon, Feb 21, 2011

Starting last Friday, and continuing into the weekend, illegal hunters have been targeting rare protected Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia as a record three flocks totaling around 70 Spoonbills sought shelter in the southeast of Malta from gale force winds.

Many vehicles followed the birds, which are scarce but regular visitors to the islands, along the coast as the flocks dispersed to seek roost sites. The BirdLife Malta (BirdLife Partner) office received several reports of illegal hunting, including a report of 11 spoonbill being killed in Delimara. The reports were forwarded to the Malta police force, who sent patrols to the area.

BirdLife Malta fieldworkers sent to the area heard over 25 shots from St Thomas Bay, with several more from Delimara where a team was told the police had confiscated a shotgun.

BirdLife Malta received photos of a hunter who fired a total of 6 shots at several spoonbill, within just a few metres of residences in Marsascala. The photos were passed onto the police to help with investigations.

On Saturday at least 13 shots were heard from St Thomas Bay area. Only six spoonbill were seen leaving their roosts, one of which had a dangling leg – an injury consistent with gunshot injuries.

These so called hunters have shot at protected species during the closed season on their migration to their breeding grounds” said Nicholas Barbara, BirdLife Malta Policy and Conservation officer.

“The Eurasian Spoonbill is listed under Annex I of the Bird Directive and is considered a rare bird in Europe. We hope that the remaining Spoonbills have made it safely off the islands.” concluded Barbara.

If you would like to help stop the illegal killing on the Maltese Islands, read more about BirdLife Malta’s international Spring Watch conservation camp here.

Turtle dove hunting in Malta: here.

September 2012. BirdLife Malta have slammed both the Maltese government and the opposition for vying for hunters’ votes while disregarding the overwhelming majority’s disagreement with the ongoing infringements from the EU nature laws: here.

“American birds of prey at higher risk of poisoning by pest control chemicals”: here.

10 thoughts on “Malta criminals kill spoonbills

  1. 12 shot protected birds recovered this season

    BirdLife Malta said in a statement yesterday that another five shot protected birds were recovered over the past 48 hours bringing the total number of protected birds recovered since the start of this year’s spring hunting season on 13 April up to 12.

    This is almost equal to the number of shot protected birds received by BirdLife Malta during the same time periods in 2008, 2009 and 2010 when a combined total of 13 shot protected birds were recovered.

    “The only difference between this period and the past three spring seasons is a special spring hunting season opened by the government through a derogation,” said Geoffrey Saliba, BirdLife Malta Campaigns Coordinator.

    BLM added, one of the birds received by the organisation, a purple heron, was recovered by a member of the public who was asked to give the bird to individuals to be stuffed and mounted. This person refused and instead handed the bird over to BirdLife Malta.

    The bird received veterinary care and one of its legs, which was broken beyond recovery by gunshot, has been amputated. However the bird was released yesterday afternoon at the Simar Nature Reserve on the vet’s recommendation.

    The other birds recovered are a black kite, a common kestrel, a cuckoo and a racing pigeon.

    Black kites and purple herons are both species of conservation concern in Europe and therefore offered the highest level of protection, being listed under Annex 1 of the Birds Directive. These birds are also highly prized by illegal hunters for inclusion in collections of stuffed protected birds.

    BirdLife Malta has also received shot protected birds of more common species such as common kestrel and marsh harrier.


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