5 September 2023, European Parliament, Brussels, Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba hosted and chaired the event organized by FACE (European Federation for Hunting and Conservation), in conjunction with the Federation for Hunting & Conservation - Malta (FKNK) on "The contribution of hunters and trappers to citizen science research in Europe".
The event discussed the cultural relevance and heritage of bird trapping in Malta, which is an activity occurring on a small scale, with live-capturing (no killing) of finch species of least concern, ensuring no impact on the respective populations. This event highlighted the contribution of hunters and trappers to scientific knowledge through community science practices, as well as the contribution trapping in Malta could provide.
FKNK President, Mr. Lucas Micallef who led the three-man FKNK Council delegation in Brussels demonstrated the effectiveness of the trappers’ method of live-capturing finches when compared to the bird-ringers’ method, and concluded his address by stating that: “On the occasion of the FKNK 50th Anniversary we will continue to work towards the safeguard and retention of our traditional socio-cultural passions of hunting and trapping on the Maltese Islands, also by active participation in citizen science Studies”.
Dr. Matt Ellis, Deputy Director of Conservation at the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC), presented "Project Penelope", an international collaborative project between hunters and scientists aimed at improving knowledge about the Eurasian Wigeon, an important quarry species in Europe.
Mr. Cy Griffin, Senior Conservation Manager at FACE, stated that: “Game species are well studied by scientists, both hunters and non-hunters. The Maltese trappers are highly skilled and willing to contribute more knowledge on migratory birds. The presentation today showed promising results, and I hope this can continue."
The event was well attended, also by other MEPs and Maltese MPs.
The FKNK would like to wholeheartedly thank MEP Alex Agius Saliba for his initiative of this event towards safeguarding Maltese hunters and trappers’ traditional socio-cultural passions on the Maltese Islands.