The Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) welcomes with satisfaction the commitment of the WBRU (Wild Birds Regulation Unit) to collect and analyse the adult to juvenile ratio of the harvested turtle doves that will be reported by the hunters during this September 2023 turtle dove open hunting season.
During the September turtle dove hunting seasons of 2021 and 2022, the FKNK conducted similar voluntary surveys amongst its members to determine the adult to juvenile ratio of the harvested turtle doves. The results on average indicated that the harvested juveniles were 28% and 40% more than the adults for 2021 and 2022 respectively. Thus this juvenile to adult ratio of hunted turtle doves indicated a positive gauge of the species hunting sustainability.
So much, are the FKNK convinced of the importance of such exercises and studies, that in June of this year, during a meeting in Brussels of FACE MED, comprised of members of FACE (European Federation for Hunting & Conservation) from the Mediterranean basin that also hunt turtle doves in autumn, that the Vice President of FACE of the Mediterranean Region, and Chief Executive of the FKNK, Lino Farrugia, explained the importance and proposed that this type of exercise is adopted in all the other (nine) countries where turtle dove hunting takes place. Lino went on to explain, that in this way, these countries united in FACE, have a common, solid and informed 'weapon', with which to confront the European Commission which is currently trying to completely stop the hunting of turtle doves in the whole EU territory.
Therefore, the FKNK encourages the cooperation of the hunters in reporting the harvest of turtle doves between adults and juveniles, in the system that will be adopted by the WBRU during the turtle dove hunting season of September 2023.
The hunters must understand that it is only with the results of such exercises and studies and the like of which the FKNK also carried out voluntarily in the spring of 2022 and 2023, that today we can continue to hunt turtle doves, both in autumn, as well as in spring as we managed to do these two years.