The Game Fund warned Thursday that fines for killing or harassing any species of wildlife were particularly strict between March and August because it is considered a reproduction season.

In a written statement, the Fund said almost all wildlife species were in a reproduction process at this time, which is perhaps the most important phase of their life.

It starts with mating and followed by nesting and laying eggs for birds, or birth of babies by mammals. It is completed by raising the new-born and them becoming independent.

“At the start of the reproduction period, the species populations are at the lowest level of their annual population, which rises as we progress towards the summer,” the Game Fund said.

The reproduction period is considered especially important for the condition of the species during the rest of the year. A successful reproduction period signals a very good hunting year.

Considering its importance, people should be aware the fine for killing, catching, harassing, or chasing any species of wildlife by any manner, including limesticks, is €8,000.

A €1,000 fine is also added for hunting in prohibited areas since all areas are considered off limits during this period.

The Fund warned that the fine increases depending on the species involved, the number, and the time the offence took place.

The Game Fund said wardens have observed that limesticks were being used for trapping in the past two months with the sum of fines imposed exceeding €100,000. The average fine was above €9,000.

Responding to criticism that fines for the use of limesticks were low, the Fund said the lowest penalties were imposed only for trapping a limited number of species between September and October, provided they are not combined with any other offence.