Footage of a massive illegal wader trapping site in Zurrieq taken by BirdLife Malta’s Raptor Camp volunteers was released on Wednesday.
The video shows a massive illegal wader trapping site almost 4900 sq meters in size, covered with three pairs of huge nets, illegal electronic tape lures playing calls of protected species, and plastic decoys of protected bird species. The footage also shows the illegal trapper collecting his decoy birds and running away shortly before the police arrived following BirdLife’s report.
The police confiscated the illegal nets and also confirmed that the illegal trapper was apprehended a short while after identifying him from the footage taken by Raptor Camp.
“The trapper was clearly after protected birds as he had decoys of protected species as well as Golden Plover which cannot be trapped at this time of the year. The government’s decision to apply a derogation allowing the trapping of four species is, as expected, being used by some trappers as a loophole to continue illegally trapping protected species” said Dr. Andre Raine, BirdLife Malta conservation manager.
Bird trapping is banned in the EU under the Birds Directive. The government this year announced that it will apply a derogation to allow trapping of Turtle Dove and Quail between 1 September and 10 October as well as Golden Plover and Song Thrush between 20th October and 10th January. Finch trapping is no longer allowed in Malta as the five year transition period to phase out this practice, agreed upon with the EU during Malta’s accession, expired at the end of last year.
Another illegal wader trapping site was reported by CABS, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, who are running a separate bird conservation camp and 29 protected waders were released at the Ghadira Nature Reserve last Saturday.
The migration period for raptors has not yet reached its peak but despite the slow migration, a considerable number of illegalities have been observed by the Raptor Camp volunteers.
Birdlife Malta said that since last Saturday, poachers have been observed shooting at Bee-eaters, Hobbies, Kestrels, Honey-buzzards and Marsh Harriers in several locations in Malta. The illegalities recorded by Raptor Camp also include shooting out of permitted hours and shooting in protected areas where hunting is not allowed.
Meanwhile, the European Court of Justice last week banned spring hunting in Malta.
Favourite Channel TV reports in video:
- CABS records and reports illegal bird trapping
by MaltaMedia News -17 September 2010
- Birdlife fieldworker assaulted by illegal trapper
by MaltaMedia News -5 August 2010
- Illegal trapping recorded in 60 locations
by MaltaMedia News -17 June 2009
- Shot protected birds doubled this autumn – BirdLife
by MaltaMedia News -16 November 2012
- Birdlife say illegal hunting “Business as usual in Malta”
by MaltaMedia News -22 October 2009