WWF Urge Efforts To Curb Illegal Trade And Hunting Of Migratory Birds

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) On Saturday Urged For Efforts To Curb Their Illegal Trade & Hunting Of Migratory Birds, Warning They May Cause

WWF Urge Efforts To Curb Illegal Trade And Hunting Of Migratory Birds

Irreparable damage to the environment.

On this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, marked on Oct 10, WWF-Pakistan has asked the federal government to resume the Annual Winter Fowl Survey, which was conducted every year in the country to ascertain the number of migratory birds and their migration patterns.

According to WWF-Pakistan, migratory birds are being killed, hunted and poached despite local and international restrictions on their hunting.

The organisation also stressed the need to create awareness about the bird fauna of Pakistan and called for necessary measures to protect migratory species declining in the country.

Says measures needed to be taken to check illegal trade, hunting

This year’s theme, ‘Birds Connect our World’, indicates that birds bring nature and people together, emphasising that significant efforts should be made to revive dwindling populations.

WWF-Pakistan’s Technical Advisor Mohammad Moazzam Khan pointed out that climate change was also affecting bird migration. “Wintering birds started arriving in October every year. However, for the past few years, birds have arrived in November. It seems that the migration trends of birds are changing and the duration of these birds staying in Pakistan has decreased substantially,” he said.

Mr Khan stressed on the need for the protection of cranes in Lasbela and Zhob, which seem to be the last haven for these birds. He was of the view that these cranes flew through Pakistan and arrived in India where people protect them and treat them as sacred birds.

Migratory birds face a number of problems in Pakistan, which include habitat loss and degradation, pollution, illegal trade, and ruthless hunting. Since all migratory species are hunted in Pakistan and ducks are killed every year, the population of some duck species, including the white-eyed pochard, marbled teal, white eyed pochard and garganey, has drastically decreased.

Cranes, because of their size and beauty, unique calls, and complex behaviour are hunted and trapped during their migration in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

In Balochistan they are hunted in Zhob and Lasbela, in the Sonmiani and Saranda Lake areas and hundreds are trapped and poached, while some are transported in appalling conditions to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where they are kept as pets. Hundreds die during trapping and transportation.The WWF-Pakistan said the wildlife departments of Balochistan and KP must curb this illegal trade and hunting.

The organisation is working with communities in Lasbela district to control their trade.

In its remarks on Saturday, the WWF said: “The widespread rains in Sindh and Balochistan have helped improve freshwater bodies where thousands of birds come to visit in the winter season.”

WWF-Pakistan believes that the rapid fall in population of migratory birds in the country is most likely one of the factors causing a rise in locust swarms, which destroyed crops in many areas in Sindh and Punjab.

These birds not only help control the populations of insects and some fish species but improve habitat for other wildlife.

WWF-Pakistan Director Wildlife Dr Tahir Rasheed pointed out that nature conservation, ecosystem services and the wellbeing of human beings are linked to the protection of migratory birds.

“It is our joint responsibility to protect wild species including birds, which play a crucial role on Earth,” he said, and requested that the Ministry of Climate Change support the Annual Winter Fowl Survey. “This is an essential requirement to understand the changes in the migration pattern,” he added.

This news was originally published at dawn.com