A clash between the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK) has spewed up in Malta over illegal incidences of shooting several birds of prey, and researchers working in Malta have been caught up in it.
The researchers are disappointed that after so many concentrated efforts of saving raptors like buzzards, harriers and ospreys, throughout their seasonal habitats, they are deliberately shot down for ‘game’ in Malta, where the largest numbers of registered hunters in Europe reside. The Maltese hunters harassed the conservationists and have shown blatant disregard towards the protection status awarded to the birds. They have been cursing the researchers and threatening them by playing indecent pranks, and this is to say the least. False allegations have been placed on the conservationists, stating that they are racially prejudiced against the Maltese.
Such incidences have known to limit conservation efforts and in most cases the protection of the species in question becomes a lost cause. Protection of birds, especially migratory birds, requires efforts from more than one country and its people. Across borders rules and regulations vary and across continents priorities change. In the US and the UK, preservation of species is defeated by allowing seasonal ‘game hunting’. Protected areas in these nations bend their rules for hunting seasons by providing legal licenses, under the pretext of which all illegal hunting takes place. Thankfully this is not the case in Asian countries. Cultures, traditions and policies have always enjoyed precedence in nations across the world, at the cost of environmental adulteration, in this case massacre of several protected species, threatening their existence.