Catching them poisoned

Published: Monday 15 December 1997

  Migratory birds at the Chili bird-trappers have evolved new methods to hunt migratory birds that have started arriving at the Chilika lagoon in the state of Orissa, the largest salt water lagoon in Asia. The latest tactic is the use of oral tranquillisers mixed in foodstuff to eliminate or capture the birds in an unconscious state. It is estimated that at least 15 per cent of the migratory birds are usually killed by trappers despite the efforts of the forest guards and the police. No less than 156 different species of migratory birds visit come to Chilika during winters. The revelations were made by U N Dev, eminent ornithologist at Bhubaneswar. He said the novel methods have been adapted by trappers after security around the lagoon was tightened by forest guards. Certain villages near the lagoon such as Khalikote, Balugaon, Kuhudi and Mukteswar have become the centre of the poaching activities. Following the tight vigil by forest guards on the activities of the villagers, the trappers have stopped using guns to avoid the noise and developed new methods. The dead birds are smuggled out by private taxis and trains. Truck drivers are also suspected to be involved in the illegal traffic.

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