Surveillance of wader trapping site on Malta
Waders such as lapwings, various plovers and ruff can be hunted legally in Malta in autumn and winter. The animals are eaten. When hunting the endangered golden plover, the use of live decoys is permitted. As the species is difficult to breed, the Maltese government allows the catching of golden plovers with nets in late autumn every year by means of a special derogation. Among the conditions is that no electronic decoys are used and trapping is only allowed during the day.
However, the huge trapping facilities are often put into operation illegally during midsummer, when redshank, greenshank, dunlin, ruff and ringed plovers pass through.
In order to cover both trapping periods, CABS teams are active in august to investigate illegal trapping and again in autumn to monitor compliance with the trapping derogation for golden plover. As with our work against finch trapping, we rely on aerial surveys to map out active trapping sites. Our ground teams then check the sites, gather evidence and call in the police when the trappers are found in-situ.