UK online daily touts Barbados as a haven for Migratory Bird Slayers: How does this affect the Graeme Hall Sanctuary?

Barbadians are a contradictory lot – we object to casinos as we play slots, lottery and scratch-cards (as the other games are here, let the roulette wheels roll – legislate that type of gambling for overseas concerns only, like Cuba); we promote safe sex and HIV-awareness yet turn our eyes when other sexual misdemeanours happen; we neuter stray dogs and cats only to splatter them on the highway like if they are targets in a video game…

The latest contradiction uncovered in Britain about us? We think the sale of the Graeme Hall Sanctuary is bad yet we pick off the inhabitants like if they were a prize at Coney Island, this is what the Voice encountered –

Around 20,000 migratory birds are shot by ?wildfowlers? [bird shooters] in Barbados every year.

According to university lecturer and conservationist, Dr. Karl Watson, bird shooting occurred mainly in the districts of St. Lucy, St. Philip, and Christ Church, and the main species shot were the Lesser Yellowlegs, the Chirp, and Greater Yellowlegs more commonly called Pica.

Bird watching season began last week in Barbados, and Watson said that between ten and 15 per cent of the approximately 300,000 migratory birds that pass through the island from North America were the shooters? target.

Concerned by the large number of birds shot, Watson called on shooters to restrict the ?number of birds they shoot during the July 15 to October 15 season.?

Professor Watson respects the need for certain Bajans to hunt, but wants them to to engage in their pursuit the same way we cannot harvest sea-eggs if there is an “R” in the month – even then that is not always the case, it can be longer to build the sea-egg stock!

The UWI lecturer hinted there should be licensed Game Wardens in the island, as in other conservation areas of the world –

Despite wildlife protection legislation, no one had ever been prosecuted in the law courts for shooting the birds. Watson, an avid bird watcher, said the birds used the artificial swamps in the north and south eastern part of the island for drinking water after flying thousands of miles from North America to Barbados.

2 Responses

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  1. Over 20,000 birds? Geez..

  2. I can understand people hunting big game animals and perhaps birds like ducks, geese etc. for food, but it baffles me how anyone gets off on killing small migratory birds like the ones that use Barbados for a rest stop on their migration.

    With all the environmental issues facing the world today and the growing threat to wild life caused by habitat destruction, it just boggles my mind how supposedly sane, rational, educated men (I’d be surprised if there were any women engaged in this) get off to such an extent on killing small, helpless creatures. I guess maybe we should be thankful they have small birds to satiate their blood lust, otherwise they might take to going after somewhat larger 2 footed pray.


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