Prime Minister awaits Ornis’s recommendations following 'vulnerable' turtle-dove status

Joseph Muscat receives FKNK representatives at Auberge de Castille

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat meets with FKNK at Auberge de Castille
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat meets with FKNK at Auberge de Castille

Following an international listing of the turtle dove as “a vulnerable” species, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is now awaiting the recommendations of the Ornis Committee to see how to proceed on the matter.

The turtle-dove has been listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species. According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, climate change is one of the reasons why turtle-doves are experiencing a rapid population crash.

The change in classification means there is the need for “further changes”, according to Muscat, who at the same time noted the increase in enforcement during hunting seasons.

“The extents of these changes is being discussed in the ornis committee … we will respect the will of the people as expressed in the referendum, even though it was won by the tightest of margins, but we must also look at the international recommendations,” Muscat said.

Last year’s referendum to continue with the spring hunting of quail and turtle-doves was decided on a razor thin margin, with the ‘Yes’ camp winning 50.4% of the vote.

During a meeting at Castille, FKNK CEO Lino Farrugia urged the government to apply the derogation. He said, that the FKNK had put forward its own conservation proposals in view of the IUCN’s decision.

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