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Times of Malta Article

Flamingo with a charmed life - Police urged to protect nature reserves

Ghadira nature reserve was broken into on Sunday, shortly after the sighting of a rare greater flamingo, presumably by an individual or individuals intent on catching the rare bird, BirdLife Malta said.
The flamingo added to the natural attraction of Ghadira and drew several visitors. It stayed at the reserve most of the day and was last seen at sundown. BirdLife said that during the night, trespassers cut a hole in part of the perimeter fence and entered the area. The intruder must have also climbed on the roof of the building. It said the bird had fortunately already left the reserve and no shooting was reported.

BirdLife said it condemned the "irresponsible and blatantly illegal behaviour". Such intrusions occurred almost every time that rare or spectacular birds found refuge in the reserve. It said that removing any bird within the boundaries of a nature reserve was illegal. The flamingo was also a protected species.

BirdLife also noted that over the past month, hunters were heard and seen shooting almost daily well within the 500 metre 'no hunting' zone surrounding Ghadira. However, several reports made to the police were ignored, it said. BirdLife urged the police to step up surveillance of the country's nature reserves.

Allied Newspapers Ltd 1998-2000



Eurobirder/Proact-Malta David Conlin 2001