Kieran Dodds

Bugibba, MALTA

Annette Phillips, healthcare assistant, from Birmingham, Great Britain. 'I saw a Facebook link posted by a friend but had heard about it 3-4 years previously. Better go and look and do something constructive, not just look but be involved in conservation. -- We work long hours. What's worth it, is the fact that by being here we are being a deterrant for some hunters. In fact there is a chance we can get evidence to prosecute some of them. -- I haven't personally come across conflict here. An old guy started speaking to us about Malta, that only a few illegal hunters spoil it for the rest. I hope we will gather enough evidence , scientific evidence, that will help populations. -- In italy it used to be worse than here but its less of a problem there. Here, it's a lot more political. The hunters have a larger effect on the population. Politicians are scared, whereas in Italy the percentage of hunters was much much smaller.'Under EU leglislation, hunting or trapping birds in spring is illegal but the government of Malta, which joined the EU in 2004, allows hunting of turtle dove and quail at this time of year. Some 170 species of bird pass over Malta during the spring and autumn migration periods. Hunters regularly shoot other species including birds of prey which are stuffed for private collection. Spring Watch Malta is a conservation camp run by BirdLife Malta a non-profit which lobbies against bird hunting in the country. In 2012, fifty volunteers from across Europe converged on a tourist hotel in Bugibba in northern Malta and fanned out to track migrating birds

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Kieran Dodds
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