Addu City, Maldives – The Environment Ministry of Maldives has notified Addu City Council that the council may proceed with the necessary measures to eliminate the threat to the White Tern population of the city – the increasing number of crows.
In recent times, the number of crows have been increasing in Addu city, threatening the lives of the White Terns which are native to the city as well as a protected species in the country. Videos have emerged on social media where crows were seen eating White Terns, as well as reports of crows attacking the Terns and their young ones. The issue is close to the hearts of Addu people as White Terns are a representation of Addu and are only native to the city in the country.
Due to the increasing number of complaints received by the council regarding the issue, Addu City Council requested the Ministry of Environment and other relevant authorities for permission of eliminating all crows from the city, as they were only recently introduced to the environment of the area, by an unknown group of people.
In response to the request by the council, a letter addressed to the council, signed by the State Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Abdullah Naseer said that as crows are not normally found in the environment, it can be deemed as a pest and therefore, taken necessary action against, specially since the species are found to have been causing harm.
In this regard, the letter further read that the ministry has no reservation against the council taking the necessary pest control actions, as stated in section 42, part (t) of the Decentralization Act. It also urged the council to seek any help in taking the pest control measures from the government institutions, should it be required.
In addition, the letter also asked of the council to rely any information on the decision taken to exterminate the crows from the city, as well as to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor the activities, should the agency require the activities to be monitored.
While some claim that the introduction of crows to the city was done to deliberately to wipe off the White Tern population from Addu, it can only be known for certain upon a proper investigation.
Recently, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the City Council and Addu Nature Park have conducted a population survey for White Terns. However the findings have not yet been published.