Watch: Behind the scenes during Birdlife’s hunting watch

Nicholas Barbara Birdlife Malta’s Conservation Manager explained to Newsbook.com.mt how every year they monitor the spring hunting season with the aim of reporting and documenting the killing of protected species, especially the protected Turtle-dove.

Newsbook.com.mt joined Birdlife Malta in one of the shifts organized to assist enforcement officers with the monitoring of hunting illegalities. Due to the COVID-19 regulations, the necessary precautions were taken.

This year’s Spring hunting season was open from the 10th till the 30th of April.

Nicholas Barbara explained to Newsbook how over just 20 days of hunting, there were 44 known illegally shot protected birds, more than triple registered last year with 12.

He also explained how they noticed illegal hunting on Turtle-doves especially in the area of il-Miżieb. The Turtle-dove is a protected bird in the EU but the Maltese government intentionally opens the Spring hunting season on dates when the Turtle-dove migration picks up, stated Nicholas Barbara.

A few minutes before the closing of this year’s Spring hunting season, Birdlife Malta had declared 2020 as the worst year for illegal hunting where the season, supposedly open only for Quail, was characterised by an illegal massacre of Turtledoves.