Falling prey

Published: Wednesday 15 May 2002

visitor birds coming to India every season are facing, not hospitality but hostility. They may just decide to give India a skip.

Poachers are targeting these migrant birds, as well as the indigenous ones, which flock paddy fields and wetlands in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerela. These birds include species of herons from North India and wild ducks from North and South Asian countries.

Poachers kill these birds with air guns. Some birds get trapped in nets strategically placed in the paddy fields. At times, arrows shaped from wood are thrown to kill the birds. Poachers are also known to target the eggs of pigeons, wild ducks, pheasants, quails, thrushes, starlings, woodpeckers and teals.

The Forest department is aware of their activities but it never receives the tip off on time, thus giving the poachers a field day. Poachers usually operate in the early morning hours when there are no workers in the paddy fields.

Officials insist that if the poaching continues at the current rate, the migrant birds might skip the location, which would affect the biodiversity of the area.

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