Birdlife believe resident flamingo at Ghadira reserve was killed after discovery of pink feathers

A flamingo that made the Ghadira nature reserve its home for the past 18 months is believed to have been killed by poachers after a hunting cartridge, pink feathers and trampled grass were discovered

Used cartridge and pink feathers found on site
Used cartridge and pink feathers found on site

A Greater Flamingo which has resided in the Ghadira nature reserve for the last 18 months was shot and stolen on Thursday, Birdlife said.

The bird was initially understood to have flown off in order to migrate but the conservation group said a used hunting cartridge, trampled vegitation and pink feathers found at an exit point led it to believe the flamingo was killed.

Birdlife said that on the night in question, the watchman responsible on checking the perimeter had not reported anything, leading Birdlife to believe that the hunter had a silenced shotgun.

A police report was filed and officers collected evidence from the site.

The missing bird had been in Ghadira since August of 2017 and was considered ‘a resident’ since it had never left the reserve.

Birdlife will also be stepping up security measures at the reserve.

“It is unfortunately clear that the fencing around the reserve and the watchman on site is not enough of a deterrent to stop these criminals from such atrocious acts and therefore BirdLife Malta management will be stepping up their efforts to improve security to hopefully end further illegalities on site in the future,” the statement said. 

This is the second illegal hunting incident involving flamingos at Ghadira in less than a month, after a flamingo was shot and another went missing on 2 November.