[metaslider id=31]

Houbara Bustard population census shows slight decline, less hunting amid locust attack

ISLAMABAD:A recent survey for reckoning the population of Houbara Bustard species by the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department showed a slight decline in the number of the Bustards and its hunting due to locusts attack in Cholistan and Thal region.

Talking to reporter, Punjab Wildlife Protection Department Director Naeem Bhatti said the number had decreased in 2019 to 5,000 which was 6,000 in 2018. “This 20-25 percent drop in the number of Houbara Bustard is not drastic rather a insignificant that can be attributed to natural reasons,” he added.

Bhatti said Bustard feed on insects, shrubs and other small creatures whereas locusts were a healthy diet for them that would help increase in its population.

Moreover, due to locusts attack in Sindh province there were meek hunting encounters to take place that also helped sustain the growing number of Bustards.

He added that Bustard used to travel during full moon nights whereas the rain spells during past year helped improve the barren arid lands which helped provide a suitable habitat for the species.

“People in these barren areas have harvested chickpeas and other small growing crops that attract the Houbara Bustard,” he added.

Earlier, due to dry weather and less wet lands, ponds and water bodies these birds including other migratory birds had shifted their visiting patterns, he added.