Poachers kill birds at Chilika

Chilika: Despite several anti-poaching measures taken by the wildlife department, hunting of migratory birds continues unabated by poachers in Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest  lagoon, reports said.

The poachers are violating the laws in force in the lake that is home to lakhs of winged guests and killing the birds. An average of 6-8 lakhs winged guests arrives at Chilika all along from northern sphere every year this season. The birds stay here all through the winter before their way back home.

However since last couple of years, a change has been sighted. Instead of Nalabana, their favourite destination till recently, they flock in large numbers to Uttaranasi. The reason is said to be the shortage of food at Nalabana. Uttaranasi is stretched from Bhushandpur to Jagadal and is covered with water lily and other aquatic weeds, making it suitable for these winged guests.

Security persons  usually cover Nalabana, Kalupada, Bhushandpur and the middle of Chilika.They ignore Uttaranasi as the thick cover of aquatic weed prevents the patrolling team’s mechanised boat from reaching the place.

Poachers, finding  Uttaranasi unguarded, venture out in   in small country boats. They usually go out at night to avoid the patrolling guards.

Some poachers lay nets to catch them, some others focus a kind of bright light onto them, making their vision blurred. Thereafter they hit them on their beaks with a stick to catch them. Yet another group of hunters use a kind of sedative that is injected into the pods of lilies that the birds intake while sitting on the flowers. Moreover, they also add the sedatives in their foods to hunt them.

Bird-killing is going unabated, despite repeated arrests.. Expressing their anguish, ornithologists, bird lovers and villagers sought government’s immediate intervention to protect these migratory guests.

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