The Raptor Camp, an international camp organised by BirdLife Malta aimed at monitoring illegal hunting of wild birds, will take place this year between 16h and 30th September- when thepeak autumn migration coincides with the hunting season.
Malta is situated on the central migratory route between breeding grounds in Europe and wintering grounds in Africa, serving as a critical resting place in the Mediterranean for migratory birds.
Nevertheless, birds that pass over the Maltese Islands are largely met with widespread illegal gunfire, or fall victim to other illegal killing practices such as trapping or poisoning. No species is safe: illegal hunters prefer birds such as raptors, but both protected and common species are targeted. Many are not even killed for food, but for target practice and for private collections!
BirdLife Malta’s ongoing campaign against illegal hunting and trapping includes operations like undercover surveillance in collaboration with the police and the organisation of two annual conservation camps: Spring Watch in April and Raptor Camp in September. Find more information on this campaign here.
BirdLife Malta welcomes volunteers from across Europe this autumn to fight against the illegal hunting of protected species. The camp involves collecting bird migration data and reporting illegal hunting activities to the authorities. A real-life spy mission! It has been proven that the presence of BirdLife Malta teams on the ground helps deter illegal hunting.
If you are looking for the round-up of this year’s Spring Watch campaign(April 15th – 30th), you will find the data and other interesting information here.
You can help BirdLife Malta by joining their annual camps and by sending letters to Maltese newspapers and authorities demanding better protection of Europe’s common natural heritage. Thank you in advance for your support!