Four poachers have been booked in Uttarakhand for killing 31 migratory birds by feeding them worms laced with poison, forest officials said on Thursday.
The incident was reported in Khatima, about 311 kilometres from Dehradun, which falls along Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh borders. The poachers have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act. The birds they killed have been identified as Little Cormorant, Eurasian Coot and Pintail Ducks which are found in Europe, Asia, Africa and north America and travel to Uttarakhand around this time of the year.
Khatima forest ranger SC Maindola said, “We recovered the killed birds on Wednesday noon from four poachers. These birds stay here till March and return by March end and April.
The main reason behind poison poaching is that the meat of these birds is in high demand and can be bought for Rs 80 and 150 a kg, he said. They said migratory birds love to eat worms which the poachers first soak in an insecticide. The birds either fall unconscious or die of consuming these worms. The poachers collect them and sell their meat in the market, the official said. Fortunately, the insecticide is not harmful for humans, he added.
Dehradun-based ornithologist Arun Kumar said Uttarakhand had 14 potential bird watching sites and Asan Barrage attracts as many as 4000 birds, including species like Brahminy Duck, Pintail, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Mallard.