Following the illegal shooting of a rare juvenile white stork, and the growing body of support for the campaign against illegal hunting, the Maltese government has decided to temporarily close the autumn legal hunting season until 10 October.
This move is to prevent illegal hunters using the legal hunting season as a cover to shoot endangered birds.
“The urge to target these protected species is something we continue seeing each and every time rare visitors, such as storks, grace these islands,” said Nicholas Barbara, BirdLife Malta’s Conservation Manager.
The ringed stork was a migrant from a reintroduction project in Udine, Italy that was set up by the local community to help stork repopulate the area.
“This is a loss of great significance as we would have expected the bird to return to Fagagna in a few years to breed,” said Bruno Dentesani the project’s scientific ringer.
“This was its first migration, I’m very sad to hear of this news.”