Printer-friendly version

Press release 12.12.2013

German Golden Plover population threatened with extinction

CABS launches ´handle with care´ campaign

The new CABS postcard shows a ringed Gloden Plover from Lower Saxony (picture © Willi Rolfes)The new CABS postcard shows a ringed Gloden Plover from Lower Saxony (picture © Willi Rolfes)Bonn/Valletta. CABS raises the altert. The population of the Golden Plover in Central Europe is on the brink of extinction. The last remaining population lives in Lower Saxony (Germany) where a total of 4 (four!) pairs bred in 2013. According to CABS the main threats to the Golden Plover in the EU are identified as destruction of the breeding habitats and hunting in staging and wintering areas such as France and Malta. "Theoretically the whole Central European population can be destroyed with a couple of shots or by using a large clap net", warns CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld.

CABS has therefore called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to ban the trapping and hunting of Golden Plovers on Malta and contribute to the conservation of this threatened bird species. To reinforce its arguments CABS has invited birdwatchers in the whole of Europe to write personally to the Prime Minister. CABS said that it printed and distributed more than 20,000 protest postcards. The picture on the rear of the card shows a freshly hatched Golden Plover combined with the logo "handle with care".

Wader trapping site on MaltaWader trapping site on MaltaThe European Golden Plover is listed on Annex I of the EU Birds Directive as a bird requiring special conservation measures in order to ensure its survival. On Malta the bird is a common migrant and winter visitor from October to March. Most of the birds occuring on Malta seem to belong to Scandinavian and Russian populations. Despite an intensive ringing programme the migration routes of the German population are still totally unknown. CABS therefore urgently appeals to all hunters and trappers in the EU to deliberatly denounce the killing and trapping of the species and to report all sightings of ringed birds (Email to CABS(at)

On Tuesday a hunter who shot down a Golden Plover caused a stir among bird lovers on Malta and abroad. A video published by a local newspaper shows the bleeding bird thrashing around at the hunters feet for minutes while the hunter is bragging about his hunting success on the phone. The video can be watched here .

You can find a prepared email to Dr. Joseph Muscat (with English and German translations of the text) here ...