Vulture conservation groups demands criminal action over alleged Egyptian vulture killing

Two European conservation groups have written to the Prime Minister asking that the crime be punished

A Swiss vulture conservation group and Italian endangered raptors centre have written to the Prime Minister asking that criminal action be taken for the alleged killing of an endangered Egyptian Vulture.

In their letter, the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) and CERM Endangered Raptors Centre asked the Prime Minister to take all possible action to investigate and punish the crime, while suggesting that an expert forensic wildlife investigation be established so that the suspect can be identified.

“The shooting of these Egyptian vultures is a major blow to the conservation of the species in Italy and elsewhere. There are only about 1,600 pairs of Egyptian Vultures in Europe, and maximum of 10 pairs in Italy,” the letter reads.

On Wednesday, BirdLife Malta issued a statement claiming that a juvenile Egyptian Vulture, named Isabel, was shot down in Dingli. The vulture was being electronically monitored through a GPS tag provided by the VCF, as part of a captive breeding programme at CERM.

The vulture disappeared from the monitoring system on Tuesday while flying over Dingli, with BirdLife Malta citing eyewitness reports that the vulture was shot down.

The two groups further alleged that another Egyptian Vulture arrived in Malta on 6 September, and was shot the following day, but not killed. It instead flew away immediately and reached Libya some hours later.

“It is unconceivable that in the year 2021 rogue people are allowed to shoot such birds illegally with impunity. We demand swift action to prevent further such incidents to occur.”

The letter was signed by VCF director Jose Tavares and CERM director Guido Ceccolini.

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