BirdLife discovers illegal trapping site in Kalkara

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Birdlife Malta has discovered an illegal trapping site in Kalkara. In a press statement, Birdlife Malta said that this same site was already reported to the police for illegal trapping.

Following footage taken of the area, a report was lodged with officers from the Administrative Law Enforcement (ALE) police unit who attended to the site and found nets as well as a number of illegally trapped birds in captivity.

According to the NGO, the unregistered trapping site is situated within Fort Ricasoli, which is owned by the Government of Malta, and most of it is currently being leased to the Malta Film Commission.

ALE police officers removed the nets and confiscated 23 protected birds that were being kept in captivity.

Birdlife Malta said that despite asking for the intervention of Wild Birds Regulation Unit experts, the Unit lacked the adequate capacity to assist, with police, in turn resorting to calling on Environment & Resources Authority (ERA) experts to help in identifying the confiscated birds.

The NGO has thanked ALE and ERA for their intervention.

The birds trapped included Short-toed Larks to Robins, a Dunnock, a Tree Pipit and several Chaffinches and Linnets. They were all inspected by a veterinarian and ringed and released by BirdLife Malta at Għadira Nature Reserve.

According to Birdlife Malta, the birds were in very poor conditions.

“The fact that the site was prepared with nets on the ground, and birds kept on-site, some of which had been fitted with swivels to be used as live decoys, clearly shows that the trapper was intending to illegally catch birds in the coming weeks” – said Birdlife Malta

Investigations by police are still ongoing.