Efforts to restrain island nations’ bird massacres

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2008:
LONDON–The Royal Society for the
Protection of Birds and the National Audubon
Society refocused attention on Greenland after
Malta on April 25, 2008 banned spring quail and
turtle dove hunting and trapping.
Malta acted in compliance with a
provisional ruling by the European Court of
Justice that the traditional Maltese spring bird
season violates the 1979 European Bird Directive,
adopted five years before Malta joined the
European Union. The European Court of Justice is
to review the Maltese response to the provisional
ruling in two or three years, reported Agence

Much of the European quail and turtle
dove population migrates through Malta. Both
species are in steep decline, and are protected
against spring hunting and trapping throughout
the rest of the European Union.
Greenland on February 29, 2008 bent the
tiny nation’s 2001 Bird Protection Act to extend
the kittiwake and eider hunting season for an
extra month, as was also done in 2004. About
10,000 of the 56,000 Greenland residents hunt,
2,000 to sell the meat of seabirds, the rest for
“Seabird numbers are nowhere near
sustainable, and the decision this year to allow
more birds to be killed is a tragedy,” Hasse
Hedemand of the Greenland conservation group
Timmiaq told WildlifeExtra.com.
The Greenland eider population has
declined by 80% in 40 years. A colony of 150,000
BrĂ¼nnich’s guillemots that thrived at Uummannaq
in northern Greenland 60 years ago has been
completely exterminated, according to the RSPB.

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