Two Protected Birds Killed As Malta's Spring Hunting Nears Its Close

A turtle dove, whose overlapping migratory season was flagged by Birdlife and the WBRU, was found dead in Żurrieq

Lovin Malta Marsh Harrier Turtle Dove Marsalforn Zurrieq

Two protected birds were shot yesterday as the spring hunting season draws to a close, Birdlife has confirmed.

The first, a marsh harrier, was found in Marsalforn, Gozo. Diagnosed to be suffering from a severe open fracture to its right wing, the bird unfortunately could not be saved.

Later in the day, a turtle dove, which is now a protected species under law, was found dead on Żurrieq. The bird was X-rayed and found with three pellets in its body.

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The issue surrounding the overlapping of migratory seasons between quail (a species legally allowed to be hunted) and turtle dove was flagged by Birdlife and the WBRU during discussions within the Ornis committee.

This season has been notably absent from many serious illegalities prior to yesterday, either indicating that enforcement is improving, hunters are showing greater respect for the rules, or potentially a reduced migration season.

However, with a few rotten eggs still acting without care of the law, questions should be asked over what more hunters can do to better police some of their own.

What do you make of these two incidents?

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Written By

Julian Bonnici