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The Migration Study Group - Thursday, September 10th, 2009

                                                            

 BirdLife welcomes ECJ decision on spring hunting in Malta
 
10th September 2009, Malta & Brussels – In a verdict delivered today, the European Court of Justice (ECJ, case C-76/08) declared that Malta has breached European law by allowing spring hunting of Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur and Common Quail Coturnix coturnix in the years 2004-2007.
 
BirdLife International and BirdLife Malta welcomed the ruling as it shows that this practice jeopardizes the conservation of these species, which have been classified by BirdLife as being in unfavourable conservation status in Europe. As a consequence, BirdLife concludes spring hunting has to end permanently. Hunting in autumn can continue for these and 30 other species in Malta, under certain conditions laid out in the EU Birds Directive. [1]
 
BirdLife International [2] and BirdLife Malta had submitted a complaint to the European Commission on Malta’s insistence on spring hunting in 2005. “This ruling is good news for millions of European birds, including Turtle Dove and Quail that cross Malta every spring on their dangerous migration back from Africa. Once again we have an example how the EU Birds Directive can help our common natural heritage”, said Konstantin Kreiser, EU Policy Manager at BirdLife International in Brussels.
 
 “Malta needs to come in line with the Birds Directive and ban spring hunting. At the same time, as we have said many times before, Maltese hunters have every right to continue their practice during the autumn hunting season within the parameters of the law, and respecting the list of huntable species” said Joseph Mangion, BirdLife Malta’s President.
 
The Maltese islands are located on an important bird migration route in the Mediterranean. A recent study analysing ring recoveries in Malta, showed that birds originating from a minimum of thirty-six European countries have been recorded migrating over Malta. [3]
 
At the same time, conservationists across Europe remain concerned about illegal hunting of protected species in Malta (like raptors and herons), and a lack of adequate police enforcement.
 
The ALE, the Maltese police unit dealing with illegal hunting, is heavily under-resourced and struggles to keep up with the scale of illegalities. We expect the Prime Minister to use this Court Ruling as an opportunity to now focus on clamping down on illegal hunting -  which has tarnished Malta’s reputation over the years”, concluded Mr Mangion.
 
This year BirdLife Malta will run its annual international raptor monitoring camp between 12 September and 4 October. Maltese and international ornithologists join this camp with the express aim collect data on bird migration, and to curtail illegal hunting activities by informing the Maltese police force where needed, while respecting any hunting activities that stay within the legal framework.
 
ENDS
 
Contact:
 
 
 
 
  • Geoffrey Saliba, BirdLife Malta Campaigns Coordinator, +356-7905-9501
 
 
Notes for the editor
 
[1] The European Commission had taken Malta to Court in January 2008, arguing Malta did not comply with the EU Birds Directive, since it had allowed spring hunting of the mentioned two species since EU accession in 2004.
Throughout the EU Birds Directive bans hunting of birds during their breeding period and during their spring migration back from Africa. Member States can apply derogations to this under certain conditions..
Now the Court concluded, that spring hunting as it was carried out since 2004 has not complied with these conditions.
Already in 2008 the Court had, requested by the European Commission, issued an “interim measure” ordering Malta not to open a spring hunting season (http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/04/malta_interim_measures.html). In 2009 the government of Malta then decided on its own initiative to wait until a final ruling was given. BirdLife sees this as a clear sign that the government will from now on respect the Birds Directive and never open spring hunting again.
 
[2] BirdLife International is a global partnership working together for birds and the environment. It promotes sustainable living as a means of conserving birds and all other forms of biodiversity and is the leading authority on the status of birds and their habitats. Over ten million people support the BirdLife Partnership consisting of over one-hundred non-governmental conservation organisations and local networks. Visit BirdLife’s European Division: http://europe.birdlife.org
 
[3] Raine, A.F. 2007. The international impact of hunting and trapping in the Maltese islands. BirdLife Malta, Malta
 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Monday, August 31st, 2009

LPO members free Ortolan Buntings in protest over illicit delicacy

Although it is illegal to capture Ortolan Buntings in France since 1999, there are still some 1500 poachers. As successive governments have done nothing to stop this, naturalists destroyed hundreds of cages and released the Ortolan Buntings.

More information in The Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/aug/31/france-activists-poaching-endangered-ortolan

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Friday, August 14th, 2009

Migraction in Spanish

Since today, Migraction is also available in Spanish. Some elements of the translation are still missing (e.g. descriptions of the watchpoints). Volunteer translators willing to help with the full translation can contact gunter.desmet@lpo.fr . Thanks in advance.

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Coming soon on Migraction: peak migration of Black Kite

Peak migration of Black Kite in the Pyrenees usually occurs during the first decade of August. With more than 13000 Black Kites over Organbidexka in July, and increasing numbers of Black Kites over the last 30 years, migration may be particularly spectacular this season.

Pictures: www.migraction.net/index.php

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Saturday, July 18th, 2009

ROQUECEZIERE: the 40th migration watchpoint on Migraction!

The watchpoint of Roquecézière (Aveyron) recently joined the club. If you are on holiday in Aveyron or Tarn between 20 August and 10 September you may want to visit this site. During that period, daily counts are organized by LPO Tarn and Aveyron. This is the peak period for Honey Buzzard migration (with up to 1000 inds. on a top day!). Many raptors can be seen here, including Griffon and Black Vultures from the Grands Causses.

Find the descripition of the watchpoint here: www.migraction.net/index.php

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

A message to visiting birders willing to put their observations in France onto this database

Unlike most birding websites www.migraction.net is a specialized database, focusing on regular migration surveys with an observation protocol. For migration counts at any of the 39 migration watchpoints presently included, we recommend you contact the organizer(s) of the survey(s) directly. You will usually find his/her email address at the end of the section “Watchpoint” (top left option once you have selected the migration watchpoint by a click on the map of France). Of course, we can help you to find the right person. The organizer of the survey at a particular watchpoint will explain you how to proceed.
 
The majority of field notes taken by visiting birders during holidays is, however, more general. Visitors often make valuable contributions to the knowledge of fauna and flora in France.
If you want to transmit roving records, we would refer you to an increasing number of regional interactive databases:
 
Haute-Savoie: haute-savoie.lpo.fr
Franche-Comté: franche-comte.lpo.fr
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur: www.faune-paca.org
 
To register as a user in any of these regions, please, click “j’aimerais participer” (below the pass word on the regional website) and fill out the form.
 
The goal is for full coverage of the country in the next few years. Also, a national data base, linking all regional data bases, is under construction. Until then, Migraction will probably continue to represent France on www.worldbirds.org (the global platform offered by BirdLife, RSPB & Audubon). In the meanwhile, we are always willing to provide additional information and to try and find the best solution for you.
 
Kind regards,
 
Gunter De Smet
Mission Migration (LPO)
 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Migraction joins the WorldBirds family

WorldBirds is a global network of Internet systems that provides a platform for the collection, storage and retrieval of bird observations worldwide. Developed as a global 'family' of databases, each country has its own system linked to the map portal at www.worldbirds.org. This portal allows you to choose a country and submit your bird observations, so making a valuable contribution to bird conservation on a local, national and international scale. This global initiative is brought to you by BirdLife International, the RSPB and Audubon. Migraction is the French representative of this system. You will find our partners here:
 

http://www.worldbirds.org/mapportal/worldmap.php?l=1
 

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Friday, April 17th, 2009

Thanks for 100 000 hours of field work on Migraction!

Migraction has reached 100 000 hours of migration survey. 100 000 hours of field work. This represents 4166 days or 11,42 years. Above all, it is an impressive effort by the migration watchers, mostly volunteers, and the equivalent of 55 years of full-time work. 

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
La Cerdagne - Eyne - Monday, April 6th, 2009

Eyne: a new migration watchpoint on Migraction

Eyne, Pyrénées-Orientales (66), is one of the most interesting sites for raptor migration in France. After a period with regular autumn surveys (1986-1990) the associations Groupe Ornithologique du Roussillon (GOR) and CERCA Nature hope to organize a migration survey during the autumn of 2009.

You will find the description of this interesting watchpoint here: http://www.migraction.net/index.php?m_id=1510&frmSite=45

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
The Migration Study Group - Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

30 years of the EU Birds Directive

 

Today the EU's first nature law, the Birds Directive, celebrates its 30th anniversary. The legislation is one of the greatest achievements of European environmental policy and plays very important role in halting biodiversity loss. The Birds Directive helped reversing the decline of some of Europe's most threatened birds. Thanks to targeted action by the European Union, national governments, conservationists and volunteers to implement it on the ground, many birds now face a much brighter future.

The Birds Directive is an excellent example of shared responsibility and cooperation among the European states.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "The Birds Directive is

(..) a practical expression of our commitment to global biodiversity conservation. Birds are not only intrinsically beautiful and a priceless part of our natural heritage, they are also vital indicators of the health of the environment".

 

 
posted by Gunter De Smet, edited by Anonyme
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