‘Silently, through the darkness of the night, amidst the woodland of Buskettt, the Barn owl hunts its prey. A species that has been extinct for the past 30 years from the islands, the Barbaġann is now once again silently roaming the notorious woodlands.’
In a newly released statement, the Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) announced that the reintroduction of the bird species was made possible through a project entrusted to them.
The first of its kind, the FKNK tried to materialise the project since 2009. With several challenges along the way, they were given responsibility over the Razzett tal-Bagħal in Buskett in 2015.
Minister Roderick Galdes, at the time Parliamentary Secretary, handed over the 17th century farmhouse with the primary obligation to commence the Barn Owl Reintroduction Project (BORP).
With funding from the Conservation of Wild Birds fund, two breeding pairs were reintroduced in 2020. Unfortunately, two of the subjects were stolen and never recovered. Two more were secured during the pandemic. on the 9th of May, the first fledging hatched successfully, introducing 5 offspring.
To date, 11 Barn Owl chicks have been bred in captivity and are being prepared to be released. Barn Owls are fundamental to biodiversity, with a project exploring the possibility of expanding it into semi-urban areas.