llegal hunting of migratory birds in Pakistan
Birds are one of the most beautiful and complex creatures of nature, found all around the world in tropical, sub-zero warm areas. These birds migrate from one country to another as it is par of their natural instinct to do so.
In this way,thousand of birds from different kinds which include flamingos, ducks, geese and swans migrate to Pakistan from Europe and South-Asian regions such as Siberia, where the cold water compels these birds to migrate to warmer region.
During their journey, the birds make stopovers at lakes and water basins at Nowshera, Tanda Dam in Kohat, Swat, Chitral, Punjab and at Haleji, Keenjaar and Lungsee lakes in Sindh.
The average rate of visiting birds each year ranges from 7 lac to 12 lacs. However nowadays, this rate is gradually declining every year. The reason for this is that each year, thousands of birds are being hunted as by the local people, especially people in northern areas of Pakistan, where the winter season is also celebrated as a hunting season where each person on a toll would hunt more than 30 birds a day.
In the early days, before 1970 there was no specific rule or law for protection of migrating birds. After the Ramsar convention in Iran and Bonn convention in Germany, different laws were enacted to protect these migrating birds and were put to practice.
In foreign countries, where other rules are being followed strictly, these countries also follow this rule and birds also happen to pass through these countries but aren’t being hunted on such a large scale at all.
In total, there are seven identified flyways in the world for these birds, being from Northern Europe to Scandinavian countries, central Europe to Mediterranean sea, western Siberia to the Red sea, Green Route from Siberia to Pakistan, Ganga flyway from eastern Siberia to India, Manchuria to Korea and Chakotata to California.
When these birds arrive in other countries, people come gather from all over the country to see these birds and enjoy the beauty of nature with these birds. On the other hand when these birds enter Pakistan, they are hunted down as prize and killed for fun, these people having no conscience of how precious these creature actually are.
The Pakistani government has failed to give protection to these birds, even though there is a bag limit set, but the locals don’t follow this rule and hunt up to 30 birds a day. Such kind of savagery and brutality towards these flying creatures on one hand, and the passive action and silence of the government is an offense towards WWF and other animal protection organizations, who actually saw a bright side with the new KPK government after they took strict action against the timber mafia. These organizations were lead to believe that the government will also take strict action against these prize hunters, however they were disappointed in seeing this situation. It is high time for the government of Pakistan and related authorities to take serious steps in enforcing this law all over the country.
The government needs to educate people and build in them a sense of duty towards protecting the lives of these birds, by organizing seminars, setting up of billboards to create a sense of awareness and try different measures to instill in the people knowledge of this situation .