Derogation for trapping season of song thrush and golden plover

The trapping season for the song thrush will open on Tuesday 20 October and will remain open until Thursday 31 December, both dates inclusive. The season for the trapping of the golden plover will open on Sunday 1 November and remain open until Sunday 10 January 2021, both dates inclusive.

The permitted times during which trapping of these two birds will be allowed is from two hours before sunrise up to two hours after sunset, daily, throughout the whole season. Night trapping is prohibited.

A statement said that the national quota for the song thrush is 5000 while for the golden plover it is 700. The season closes as soon as the national quota is reached and remains open for other species whose quota has not yet been reached. There are no individual or daily quotas.

Every song thrush or gold plover caught which is ringed or has a satellite tag needs to have its details recorded on the ringing form issued in the name of the trapper (not reported by SMS), which he has received with the special licence, and then they need to be released immediately.

The ringing form and the calendar with the dates when the trapper went out trapping all need to be returned to MaltaPost as indicated in the letter which the trappers will receive in January 2021, even if the trapper has not caught any song thrush or gold plover which is ringed or has a satellite tag, or if he has not been out trapping.

Up to two traps from one stone hut (dura) can be used as long as they have been registered for the year 2020 and included in the list of coordinates published by the Wild Birds Regulation Unit  (WBRU) on its website.

The weave of the net just for the song thrush, or for both the song thrush and the gold plover together needs to be no less than 35mm x 35mm, up to a maximum of 38m² for every net. Nets used just for the gold plover need to have a weave which is no less than 45mm x 45mm, up to a maximum of 60m² for every net.

The gold plovers and the song thrushes which are used as decoys need to have a ring which is used only once; red for the gold plover and yellow for the song thrush.

Up to 10 decoys are allowed in all (for example, eight gold plovers and two song thrushes) even if there is more than one licensed person at the same trapping station.  The use of pre-recorded whistles by song thrushes or gold plovers are not allowed.

Every song thrush and gold plover which is caught needs to be reported immediately by means of an SMS on the number indicated in condition number 13 of the special licence.

All those who report a catch of a song thrush or gold plover will receive a letter in January 2021 with the amount of rings which he needs to buy, from MaltaPost.

Every trapper is legally obliged to report what he has caught immediately, as explained in the special licence. The season for the relevant species will close once the quota of that species has been reached. This quota is established according to the Birds Directive and should be respected in order to ensure that the derogation is implemented correctly.