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Over 1,500 birds are illegally poached daily in Dadu

Over 1,500 birds are illegally poached daily in Dadu

DADU: Hunters and poachers illegally catch an average 1,500 birds of different species, including Siberian migratory birds, daily in collusion with unscrupulous elements within the wildlife department. They sell away the birds in local markets without any fear of getting caught, Dawn has learnt.

The number does not include the thousands of migratory birds caught or killed by foreign dignitaries who are given permits for hunting in the areas of Wahi Pandhi, Nali, Kakarai, Tando Rahim Yar Khan, Chhinni, Sawrao, Gozo, Fareedabad, Mado and Heero Khan in Kachho belt.

The local poachers are hunting birds with complete impunity in Kachho, Manchhar lake, Indus river, Main Nara Valley Drain and Sita lake and selling them in markets across Dadu town for Rs200 to 250 a bird.

Amjad Ali Mallah, a poacher, disclosed that he had been capturing 150 birds at Zero Point in Manchhar lake daily and selling them in the town for the past one month while his relatives and friends were catching and selling birds at different points along the Dadu-Sehwan Indus Highway.

He said that all hunters were to pay bribe to the officials of the wildlife department out of their daily earnings after which they could freely hunt birds anywhere and sell them without any fear.

Mohammad Alam Mallah said that he captured 300 Siberian and indigenous birds along the Main Nara Valley Drain, Kakar and Chhandan Mori near Johi after paying bribe to the local wildlife officials as well as police.

Haji Jumoo said that at least 50 groups of poachers were busy hunting birds along the Indus river who caught an average of 1000 to 1500 birds of various species daily and supplied them to markets in Dadu, Larkana, Hyderabad, Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Lahore, Multan and Islamabad.

Akbar Panhwar, executive director of the Gorakh Foundation, said that hunting of Siberian birds in natural water ponds, lakes and river belt had become common.

The hunters captured the birds in thousands and supplied them to markets across the country, he added.

Syed Ghulam Qadir Shah, national coordinator of International Union for Conversation of Nature, said that it was completely illegal to hunt the migratory birds. The wildlife department needed to implement the ban as the use of guns near lakes and ponds was scaring away the migratory birds who would fly to other areas and never return, he warned.

Dadu SSP Shabbir Ahmed Sethar said that there was complete ban on hunting of migratory and other indigenous birds. Police had recently recovered thousands of birds in a number of raids on poachers’ hideouts and buses, he said.

Deputy conservator of wildlife, Ghulam Sarwar Jamali, said that they allowed hunting of only aged birds while Arab princes were issued special permits for hunting by the federal government.

He said the department routinely imposed fine on hunters and poachers who were caught red-handed hunting illegally. Besides, monitors had been appointed to keep an eye on poaching of birds, he said.

Published in Dawn November 22nd, 2016

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