Forty-nine people were fined during September for illegal hunting, Wildlife Department District Officer Mujahid Kaleem said on Tuesday. He said Rs150,000 had been collected in fines. Most of these men, he said, were caught for hunting quail.
With the arrival of migratory season, Kaleem said, some hunters had started catching migratory birds using nets. He said partridges, quails and cranes were being caught this way and sold in the cities. He said several nets had been seized from Cholistan, Nabipur, Kacha Sabzani, Chak Dayha, Daulatpur, Abadpur and kacha areas along the Indus.
He said patrol teams had been formed to monitor hunting.
He said over a last few days cranes had started arriving in the Cholistan area. He said the great Indian bustard was also at risk of being hunted to extinction. He said there were less than 200 birds of the species left around the world with most of them in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. He said patrol teams had seen four of these birds in the area in last week.
The district officer said that a rigorous anti-poachers’ drive had been launched to save endangered species. He said several endangered migratory birds flying through Pakistan might face extinction due to widespread illegal hunting. He said the department would also launch a drive against those selling birds whose hunting had been banned.
Muhammad Kareem, owner of a birds’ shop in Bahawalpur, told The Express Tribune that birds’ shops owners paid for Rs18 to Rs20 per quail. He said they then sold them for Rs40 to Rs50 each. Kamran Azam, who also owns a birds’ shop, said that quails were in great demand.
Separately in Gujranwala, 14 men were fined Rs82,000 for illegal hunting of pigeons, doves, wild ducks and hawks.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2013.
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