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Bird protection camp in September 2008


CABS is sending 24 Bird Guards to Malta

CABS bird guards scanning the sky on MaltaCABS bird guards scanning the sky on MaltaValetta/Berlin. As in the last years the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) will again be sending its ‘Bird Guards’ to Malta in September in order to monitor illegal hunting hot-spots and to record bird migration data.

According to the CABS press officer Axel Hirschfeld, 24 CABS activists will be conducting operations by day and night in the time-frame 13th to 28th September. Their mission is to record numbers of migrating birds and to report breaches of hunting regulations to the Maltese police HQ. In this respect, CABS welcomes the Maltese government’s decision to ban hunting after 15:00 hrs in the period 15th to 30th September. Heinz Schwarze, President of CABS, praises the government for this restriction: “This ruling is extremely important and led to a marked decrease of illegal bird shooting last year”. The CABS conservationists reckon that their presence on the ground in large numbers, equipped with video cameras and high quality optics, will further reduce the mortality rate of protected species such as Honey Buzzards, harriers and falcons.

The CABS team members will be clearly distinguishable from ‘normal’ tourists by their jackets and T-shirts with ‘CABS Bird Guard’ printed in bold yellow letters on the back. In addition to their monitoring and recording operations by day, additional patrols will be mounted at night to locate illegal Quail and Turtle Dove electronic decoy devices. Last year more than 300 such devices, including cables, car batteries, timers and loudspeakers were located and reported to the Maltese police.

The operation will be organised and conducted in close cooperation with the Maltese branch of the International Animal Rescue (Hamrun) and are financed exclusively by donations from German foundations and individuals.

Collected illegal electronic devicesCollected illegal electronic devicesThe participants are ornithologists from Germany, Hawaii (USA), Italy, Poland and the UK. They include conservationists from the German federalstate of Brandenburg who are involved with the protection of the small surviving Lesser Spotted Eagle population there, the plight of which was highlighted by the shooting down of the young eagle Sigmar over Malta last autumn. In order to ensure the best possible cooperation with BirdLife Malta, operations will be coordinated on a daily basis through exchange of information on the location and tasks of field teams.