Protect Migration Through Malta
Protect Migration Through
As September approaches most raptors migrate south towards the summer. On the central Mediterranean route Malta is a very important stepping-stone. Buskett, a bird sanctuary, is of immense importance. Being Malta's oldest and most important woodland, it proves to be an incredible attraction, a haven among seemingly endless seas! Yet, every year, hunters ruthlessly kill the raptors, even within the limits of the sanctuary. The authorities do very little to stop them. For the last two years a Raptor camp was held in Malta. Foreign birdwatchers observed the migration and reported any illegal hunting to the police, helping to get the law enforced. At the same time, the potential of developing eco-tourism is being shown to the Maltese authorities. This year the camp will be from 7th to 23rd September 2001.
International Birds of Prey Camp in Malta, 7th to 23rd September 2001. see: http://www.geocities.com/bopcamp As September approaches, and with it the colder autumn, most raptors start to migrate south towards the southern hemisphere's summer. Those birds which opt for the central Mediterranean route can choose to either fly to western Sicily and directly to Tunisia, or else to fly over to Malta, then to Libya.
Being the only island in this passageway, Malta is a very important stepping stone for these raptors, since it enables them to come down to rest or soar up with the thermals, found only over land, and continue their migration should they choose to do so. In this respect Buskett, a bird sanctuary, is of immense importance. Being Malta's oldest and most important woodland, it proves to be an incredible attraction for these magnificent creatures; a haven among seemingly endless seas!
Every year, hunters ruthlessly kill the raptors, and so within the limits of the sanctuary. The authorities do very little to stop them. For the last two years a Raptor camp was held in Malta. Foreign birdwatchers observed the migration and at the same time reported any illegal hunting seen to the police, thus helping getting the laws enforced. At the same time, the potential of developing eco-tourism is being shown to the Maltese authorities.
During the peak days one can observe the raptor migration at a prettyclose range, we dare say offering a view of its own. Just imagine seeing128 marsh harriers coming down to roost in woodland... a view birdwatchers had the privilege to see on 23rd September 2000! At the same time, from a valley 200m from Buskett four other camp participants saw 19 raptors, among which an osprey, being killed right in front of the police!
Do you want to be left out of 2001's show and do you not want to help? Contact us now... Age of applicants: 16 and over. Price: Lm8.00 or USD20 per night (this includes transport, lodging, food and excursions). Participants are welcome to attend for any period within the camp.
For further information contact our office or email directly to the camp's organisers at: BOPcamp@yahoo.com Also see BirdLife Malta's website: http://www.waldonet.net.mt/birdlife Justin Vassallo; Joseph Mangion; Camp co-ordinators
Created: 7th Feb 2001