Killing of birds and foxes banned

Vanuatu’s Climate Change Ministry has banned the killing of birds and flying foxes in all islands affected by the recent Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management’s Director General, Esline Garaebiti says the National Disaster Committee has fully endorsed the ban.

The ministry says it is continuously receiving reports that people are killing birds and flying foxes in the islands hit by Cyclone Harold.

The ministry says concerned people making the reports says the flying foxes and birds are being killed with sling shots either for food or for the enjoyment of killing these species.

In a letter to provincial and community leaders in the northern islands affected by the cyclone, the Director General pointed out the dangers these species faced following the cyclone.

He said the ecosystems, that is the forests and trees that these species rely on for shelter and food, have been severely damaged by Cyclone Harold.

The Director General said, the shortages faced by the birds and flying foxes were the same as the shortages of food and shelter being felt by the people of these islands whose homes and garden have been destroyed.

“With this impact, flying foxes and birds will find it hard to find food as well as shelter for them to live in, which is why we see them on the ground or on fallen trees and plants searching for food,” Ms Garaebiti said.

“They are very vulnerable at this time, so we should sympathize with them and care for them instead of taking advantage of the situation they are in, by killing them.

“We all depend on each other in one way or another,” she said.

The Climate Change Ministry is concerned that environmental disturbances such as Cyclone Harold and the killings of these species will further decrease species diversity and could lead to loss of these species.

The Director General said she was “humbly and respectfully asking our northern citizens affected by TC Harold to stop killing these animals”.

“Thank you for respecting our nature and environment,” she said.



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