Last night we took the ferry to Gozo island. This morning we went out before dawn to monitor for illegal hunting.

Dotterel (Birwina in Maltese, Sekonda in Gozo) on Malta September 2014 – Video Clip Shot by Mr. Konrad Bugeja, a hunter and a Federation for Hunting & Conservation – Malta (FKNK) Member

We caught an early ferry out of Gozo this morning following our monitoring for illegal hunting yesterday. It seems the hunting ban is working!

Two Birds of prey eating there prey during the hunting season in Malta. First one is a harrier eating a rat, the second is a Kestrel eating a Bee-eater. According to some people its impossible to see these scenes during the spring hunting season!

Between 12th and 19th March 2014, CABS and BirdLife Malta monitored illegal finch trapping in Malta and Gozo. They found the countryside full of illegal trapping sites and observed and recorded at least 15 poachers in the act of illegal songbird trapping.

But despite recording video and photo evidence and reporting incidents to the Maltese authorities, police only apprehended two suspects and on several occasions failed to confiscate nets and live caged birds being used for illegal trapping.

Thursday 24th October- This morning the confirmed body count of eagles shot down by hunters in Malta and Gozo reached 12, after two more of these rare and highly protected birds of prey were killed in front of watching BirdLife Malta volunteers.

BirdLife Malta’s Conservation Manager, Nicholas Barbara, described the events as a tragic wake-up call:

“We haven’t seen the wanton slaughter of this many protected birds by this many hunters in Malta for a long time. It is difficult to see this as anything other than a complete catastrophe and the descriptions of the scale of killing we have seen in the last 24 hours as an “isolated incident” and the scenario that only a few rogue bad apples are responsible for killing protected birds is not consistent with reality.”

“We can only hope that these events serve as a serious wake-up call to the government that the current enforcement of hunting is not doing the job and things need to change for the situation to improve.”

Read the full story here:

BirdLife volunteers find illegal trapping site at Ta’ Sarafflu, in Gozo.

In September 2013 CABS volunteers and members of the Foundation Pro Biodiversity (Stiftung Pro Artenvielfal – SPA) filmed a bird trapper who was trapping protected dotterel (Charadrius morinellus / Mornellregenpfeifer) with two huge clap net installations on Gozo (Malta). The Bird Guards team filmed a man in a blue T-shirt – probably in his late twenties – activating a clap net and setting out cages containing live decoy birds. Shortly before the arrival of the police the man received a phone call and began to deactivate the nets. As he realised that the officers had almost reached the site, he panicked and fled with the birds in their cages. His flight did not rescue him from the long arm of the Maltese law however…

When the police arrived on the site they discovered four 50 m long clap nets, a pond and plastic decoys and a single live Dotterel in a cage. After an exhaustive search of over an hour the Bird Guards found a further 6 cages and live birds that the man had discarded along the path of his hasty flight. The birds, three adult and four juvenile birds, which had been provided with neither feed nor water under a blazing sun, were seized by the police and, with assistance of the CABS team, transported to the police station in Victoria. Some of them are clearly in need of veterinary treatment. According to CABS the Dotterel is a plover species that enjoys strict protection under both the European bird protection guidelines as well as the African-Eurasian treaty on the protection of water birds (AEWA). The species breeds in the arctic tundra and passes through Malta on the way to its winter quarters in Africa, The birds are highly prized by Maltese trappers and collectors and it is believed that a living specimen can bring several hundred euros on the black market.

If you want to know more about illegal hunting or bird trapping on Malta visit our website: or contact us (Email:

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)
An der Ziegelei 8, 53127 Bonn, Germany

Tel.: +49 228 66 55 21
Fax : +49 228 66 52 80

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Xlendi Bay, Gozo, Malta. Night was settling in and while taking a walk late evening in Xlendi, I heard all these birds while they were looking for a place to sleep.