Malta the illegal killing continues: Birdlife receives three shot protected birds in one day

From left to right. Shot Purple Heron, Collared Dove and a Marsh Harrier

BirdLife Malta said today that it recovered three injured protected birds – a Purple Heron, a Marsh Harrier and a Collared Dove. All of the three birds were reported by members of public and were later confirmed by a vet to have shotgun injuries.

The Purple Heron (Russett A?mar ) was found in M?arr ix-Xini area in Gozo. Shotgun pellets had caused a serious fracture to the bird’s left wing and it was euthanized later today.

Shot Purple Heron

X-Ray showing the pellets, Purple Heron

Shot collored dove

X-Ray showing the pellets, Collared Dove

A juvenile Marsh Harrier (Bag?dan A?mar ) was recovered from Birzebbuga with an injured right wing. An X-ray later revealed an old shotgun injury to the left wing which the bird had recovered from, and a fresh injury to the right wing with a number of lead pellets in the body. The bird was passed on to the ALE.

Both of these species are listed as Annex I, granting the highest protection by the Birds Directive.

The Collared Dove (Gamiema tal-Kullar ) was found shot in Madliena. The gun shot has fractured its left wing, but the fracture is stable and the Collared Dove is currently being rehabilitated, Birdlife said.

It said these incidents brought this week’s toll of shot birds it had recovered to four. 

“These cases give an indication of the amount of illegal shooting taking place during this autumn hunting season as many illegally shot birds go unreported,” it said.

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