Mur­der on the Mar­jal: Moon­light poach­ers kill rare birds

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - By Sa­man­tha Kett skett@cb­

AN HOR­RIFIC sight of mu­ti­lated and dis­mem­bered rare birds scat­tered across the Pego Mar­jal has put au­thor­i­ties on the alert and con­ser­va­tion­ists are ex­am­in­ing their re­mains in the hope of find­ing out who killed them.

At least six mal­lard ducks, moorhens and pur­ple swamphens fell vic­tim to poach­ers dur­ing the full moon and their heads, feet and wings were found aban­doned in the wet­lands.

It is thought the il­le­gal hun­ters be­hind the killings took the meat for hu­man con­sump­tion.

By shoot­ing them, the poach­ers have com­mit­ted a string of of­fences in­clud­ing hunt­ing on week­days, which is banned in the Mar­jal, and killing pro­tected species.

If caught, the of­fend­ers could face hefty fines and even prison.

The as­so­ci­a­tion Agró Ac­tion Ecol­o­gists has re­ported the mat­ter to the po­lice, whilst the Mar­jal man­age­ment is study­ing pho­tos of the re­mains and the orig­i­nal body parts are be­ing held at the Montgó na­ture re­serve re­search cen­tre in Dé­nia.

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