CABS operation safe haven in September
CABS, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, is conducing a three-week camp on Malta in autumn to monitor and combat illegal bird hunting.
The activity, named Operation Safe Haven, will see 32 volunteer bird guards in Malta between September 11 and October 4. Their tasks will include monitoring and recording illegal trapping and hunting of protected bird species, assisting the police in the detection and apprehension of offenders.
The volunteers, from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and the USA will be supported by three full-time CABS staff and a veterinary surgeon.
Eight mobile teams, with operational areas of some 15 square kilometres in area, will be deployed daily to cover as much of the island as possible. Their efforts will be concentrated on the poaching hot spots known from previous CABS’ operations such as the areas around Girgenti, Rabat, Siggiewi, Zurrieq, Marsascala, Luqa und Dingli, as well as the important bird of prey night roosts in Buskett, Mizieb and Mellieha Ridge.
“Those observed shooting at protected bird species will be observed and photographed by our well-equipped teams and reported to the police” Cabs president Heinz Schwarze said.
He said that in past years poachers increasingly invaded night roosts, frightened the birds with spotlights, and ‘sportingly’ shot them down from their perches. To combat this CABS teams will protect large night roosts throughout the night. Night viewing devices and infra-red cameras will be issued to selected team members to enable identification of offenders and their vehicles in the hours of darkness.
The operation will, as ever, be discussed in detail in advance with the police and is supported by the Maltese branch of the International Animal Rescue.
"As always we hope for a quiet and safe passage of migrant birds over the islands to their winter quarters in Africa", Mr Schwarze said.