We're all aware of the mindless slaughter that goes on in Malta where thousands of illegal hunters exact a terrible toll on migrating passerines, birds of prey and a lot else. I refer you to this podcast on Charlie Moores 'Talking Naturally' website where filmmaker Ceri Levy discusses his experiences of this bird genocide.
Talking Naturally - Ceri Levy and Malta's illegal and shameful hunting
Photographer David Tipling has just spent a few days out in Malta highlighting this issue and even appeared in court while there, to testify against two hunters (see Times of Malta - birdwatcher testify against hunters).
David, if you are reading this Sir. I salute you, you deserve great credit for going out to Malta and working so hard to highlight this issue.
I thought Malta was bad enough but today on IBN (Irish Bird Network) this link was posted. It describes how fishing nets are being used in almost a 700 kilometer stretch along the North African coast to trap migrating songbirds. The commonest species being picked up are Shrikes. The birds are crammed into cages, sent to the local markets before being killed and sold. You will probably find the images in this link shocking and disturbing. I personally find this sort of thing very difficult to look at and very upsetting. But.....its very important that we do look at this, it can't be ignored and as birders we have a duty to do what we can to stop this slaughter. I would urge you to go to the link below and sign the e-petition.
stop fishing and shooting of european migratory birds
From hunting in Malta, trapping in Cyprus, netting in North Africa, drought in the Sahel, habitat loss and so many other hazards (all with one common thread - mankind!), its amazing any of these bird make it to their breeding grounds. Thank God some do.....just.
Please sign the e-petition and help them on their way!