Efforts afoot to curb poaching, illegal hunting of migratory birds: KP wildlife dept

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 reporter, 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.