‘Efforts afoot to curb poaching, illegal hunting of migratory birds’

‘Efforts afoot to curb poaching, illegal hunting of migratory birds’

APP

ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wildlife department has expressed strong determination to control the factors responsible for disappearance of migratory birds from the wetland of Pakistan during the past few years.
The department has taken strict stringent measures to ensure protection of migratory birds especially in the vicinity of Peshawar, Sawat, Noshera, Tarbela and Dera Ismail Khan, said conservator Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wildlife department, Iftikhar Uz Zaman on Thursday. Talking to APP, he said the persons involved in illegal hunting, poaching, and trapping of migratory birds were penalized.
“Poaching, illegal hunting and trapping are the biggest threats to migratory birds and we are striving to cope with this problem. We engage indigenous communities to stop illegal hunting and give them 80 percent revenue generated from legal hunting and sports,” he added.
Vice President Wildlife Foundation of Pakistan, Sufwan Ahmad said Pakistan faced drastic natural and anthropogenic challenges such as less rainfall, low water in wetlands, unchecked hunting and destruction of mangroves which prompted the decline of migrating birds in the country. He opined that intrusion of salt water in freshwater bodies; unnecessary tree cutting, poaching and netting are also the main reason behind the declining migrating birds’ trend.
Senior Manager, Worldwide Fund Pakistan (WWF), Jamshed Iqbal said WWF strove for the rehabilitation of migratory birds in Pakistan. In that regard, the Fund launched different programs where indigenous people and hunters were educated and trained through informatory sessions and awareness campaigns. Pakistan, a country of hundreds of water bodies, attract hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, including Cranes, Ducks, Common teal, Falcons, and Cormorants in winter from Siberia, and other countries. In every winter, migrating birds travel up to 4500 kilometers to escape the harsh weather conditions of Siberia and reach Pakistan on the international migrating route “The Indus Flyway” which is also known as the “Green Route”. The Indus Flyway starts from the North of Pakistan and follows Indus River down to the South of Pakistan.
Earlier, The Wildlife Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has taken notice of reports about sighting of herd of wild boar in a suburban locality of Peshawar and sent team for verification.
DFO Wildlife Peshawar Muhammad Niaz said, “We have sent teams soon after receiving reports about sighting of wild boar near a graveyard of Palosi area.” In the video wild boars were seen roaming in a dump of solid waste, he said.
He said locals apprised them that a herd of wild boar was found near the graveyard area which is very unique for them. Pug marks along with some burrows dug by animal were also found at the site people told, he mentioned.
After taking locals into confidence, the Wildlife Department officials decided to keep baits and snares for capturing of animals.
Local Nazim was also approached to inform public for not letting their livestock at the site after sun set to avoid being trapped in the snare.
However, he said, no animal was caught in the snare fixed by Wildlife Department which were later removed for safety purpose.
Niaz said people were also informed to take measures for removal of solid waste which attracted the animal and were asked to put some barricades outside vegetated areas to discourage animals.
He said wild boar is a vermin specie which serves as pest and destroys fields and in case if the animal found better food in the area, it will keep on visiting again and again and will create problems for farming community.
In response to a question, DFO Wildlife replied that if in case the animal keep on arriving the area and caused damage, the department will take action of allowing locals to shoot on sight. He said it is not a good sign that a vermin specie is found in the suburbs of populated area which speaks about large increase in its population in the region and damage to farmlands.