The Department of Environment is concerned about an increase in the hunting of wildlife on the island. On Monday, DoE put out a release reminding the public that is an offence to wilfully hunt protected species of fauna and knowingly disturb them during during periods of breeding, incubation or migration.
On Monday, James “Scriber” Daley, a former forest ranger and tour guide shared shocking photos on his Facebook profile of a colony of birds which were slaughter.
“This is really disturbing!!,” Scriber said in the post. “Someone, a human predator went all the way to Hells Gate in the Silver Hills of Montserrat deliberately went into the habitat of the now nesting colony of the Red billed tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) took them off there nest, slash(ed) there throats, rip the skins off and took the meat of the birds. Anyone with information on this, please contact the Department of the Environment @ 664-491-9278 or call Scriber @ 664-492-2943. Lets all work together to eliminate this bad practice.”
In a released statement, the DoE said “Under the Conservation and Environmental Management Act – It is an offence for a person to
(a) wilfully hunt or attempt to hunt a protected species of fauna
(b) knowingly disturb a protected species of fauna during the period of breeding, incubation, aestivation or migration or take, remove, damage, destroy or have possession of a nest or egg of a protected species of fauna.
“Persons who are in breach of this Act are liable to a fine of $5,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
“Additionally there a number of species that are partially protected and can only be hunted subject to a permit issued by Director of Environment.
“The public is urged to refrain from hunting species of wildlife without first receiving the appropriate advice and direction from the Department of Environment,” the statement read.
Stephen Mendes from the DoE told Discover Montserrat said they have also discovered his department has found evidence of hunting of feral animals which is leading to a bad practice of leaving hunting dogs in the wild to fend for themselves
A listing of Protected and Partially Protected Fauna can be found in the Conservation and Environmental Management Act.