FT Online

2019-12-09 16:09:28 BdST

Migratory birds battle poachers in Khulna

Although the poaching of migratory birds is a punishable act, it is going on unabated here under the nose of the local administration and police.
It is even alleged that police take money from bird hunters and traders to allow their illegal act.
Migratory birds visit Bangladesh from the remotest corners of the world such as Siberia, Mongolia and the Tibetan plateau during the winter and live mostly in haor and beel areas considering the country their safe place.
But, a large number of guest birds are being caught every year by some unscrupulous people and sold.
A big bird is sold at Tk 300 in the district while the price of a small one is Tk 150. There is no scope for any bargaining as the demand for the migratory birds is so high. Even, customers are making advance payment for the birds.
Bird hunters and sellers claimed that police collect money from them on a monthly basis.
Anup Das, a bird hunter of Aranghata, said all the bird poachers have to give money to the police.
He said they normally hunt birds from beels at night undercover of dark using traps and hand those over to traders in the early morning.
Kudrat-e-Khuda, general secretary of the district chapter of Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), said the local administration needs to take strict action to stop the bird hunting.
He said local representatives should raise awareness among people against bird hunting.
Madinul Ahsan, a divisional officer of Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department, Khulna, said migratory birds usually roam in the beels of Terokhada, Dumuria and Sapahar in the district.
He said they conduct drives against bird poachers regularly. “We remain alert this time, too. No bird hunter will be spared.”
Helal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Khulna, said they conduct drives regularly. “If anyone is caught with birds, he or she will be punished by mobile court.”

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