Yet an­other pro­tected bird shot

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

What is the Govern­ment wait­ing for? BirdLife Malta in­sists sus­pen­sion of hunt­ing sea­son is now in­evitable.

BirdLife Malta was yes­ter­day called upon to res­cue an­other il­le­gally shot pro­tected bird, this time round a Grey Heron (Rus­sett Griż).

The bird was found bleed­ing and un­able to fly in a farm­house in Że­j­tun af­ter hav­ing been shot in the prox­im­ity. It was re­trieved by BirdLife Malta staff and Rap­tor Camp vol­un­teers who are at the mo­ment pa­trolling Malta’s coun­try­side to mon­i­tor il­le­gal hunt­ing at the peak of the rap­tor mi­gra­tion. BirdLife Malta of­fi­cials rushed it to the vet who cer­ti­fied it as hav­ing at least one shot­gun pel­let which shat­tered the bone in its right wing.

About this lat­est il­le­gal act dur­ing this year’s au­tumn hunt­ing sea­son, BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sul­tana com­mented: “This is the twen­ti­eth pro­tected bird shot fol­low­ing the shoot­ing of Black Storks, Honey Buz­zards, Night Herons and Bee-eaters. It is un­ac­cept­able and a dis­grace that not only are these il­le­gal­i­ties hap­pen­ing, but that the Govern­ment has a non­cha­lant at­ti­tude to­wards what is hap­pen­ing. We have been ask­ing for a sus­pen­sion of the hunt­ing sea­son for weeks with the Govern­ment pass­ing the buck and not be­ing able to do what is right. We de­mand the Govern­ment to act now and sus­pend the sea­son till mid-Oc­to­ber. Only this can help the en­force­ment so that the pro­tected mi­grat­ing birds can ar­rive safely to their des­ti­na­tions when fly­ing over Malta.”

The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is a com­mon mi­gra­tory bird at this time of year. Nor­mally trav­el­ling in flocks, the Grey Heron is a bird of large di­men­sions and the largest heron species seen in the Mal­tese Is­lands. All across Europe it is found in both ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas mak­ing it a very fa­mil­iar sight to the gen­eral pub­lic, in­clud­ing many Mal­tese who from time to time choose Europe as their hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

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