Monday, 18 June 2007

Maltese conservationists to target illegal raptor hunting

In a bid to put a stop to the widespread illegal killing of birds of prey and other protected species during autumn migration, BirdLife Malta is seeking volunteers to sign up for a special ‘raptor camp’.

Illegal hunting surveillance and raptor migration monitoring will be the two main elements of the camp’s activities. Carried out every day by groups of 5-10 volunteers, they will be concentrated on areas which are known for illegal hunting and raptor migration – previous experience has shown that just the presence of active birdwatchers is enough to deter illegal hunters. Where necessary, surveillance work will be co-ordinated with local police forces.

Key raptor species at this time of year include Marsh and Montagu's Harriers, Honey Buzzard, Common and Lesser Kestrels, Osprey, Hobby, Red-footed Falcon and Eleanora's Falcon, as well as rarities such as Lesser Spotted and Short-toed Eagles and Pallid Harrier. Participants will also record migration of a range of other species, including herons, bee-eaters, orioles, thrushes and doves, that migrate through the island in numbers.

RaptorCamp Malta will take place from 8-23 September this year. Click here for full details and for information on how to sign up, or send an email to