Indiscriminate poaching of birds by a section of local people has started in the wetlands of the southern region, including Khulna, barely with the advent of winter this year.
Both with a callous disregard for ecology and greed for money and meat the poachers catch and kill the innocent birds by placing poison traps in the swampy areas.
The wetlands in the region, which are home to different local species of birds, now echo with chirping and fluttering of the local species of birds, which will be later joined by the migratory birds from the cold countries like Siberia.
To ensure unhindered movement of the birds, both migratory and local, forest department has intensified its crackdown against their poaching, reports UNB.
The department is continuing a drive to arrest the hunters and recover the captured birds.
Sources at the Wildlife Section of the Forest Department, Sundarbans said migration of the birds to the wetlands begins in November and continues till March.
The poachers catch the birds by laying several traps in the beel (water body) areas and then sell those in local markets openly.
Sources at the crime control unit of the wildlife section said poaching of birds goes on unhindered in 18 districts and upazilas of the south-western region.
These are Khulna Sadar, Rupsha, Bagerhat, Mongla, Rampal, Satkhira, Jessore, Narail, Magura, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Sharistpur, Barisal, Agailjhara, Pirojpur, Barguna and Patharghata.
Bird poachers also in groups continue their acts in Basuakhali beel of Terokhada upazila and Faltita area of Fakirhat upazila.
They have taken bird poaching as the main source of their income.
Most of the families in the areas are involved in bird poaching.
Meanwhile, the wildlife section of the forest department, Sundarbans, conducted several drives to arrest the poachers.
On November 3, members of the wildlife section conducted a drive in Naoapara Daktarmore area in Fakirhat upazila and arrested a young man named Niranjan Mandal along with 15 poached birds.
Later in another drive on November 4, the same members arrested Ferdous Morol along with 32 birds from in front of Azgara Government Hospital in Terokhada upazila.
However, the wildlife section released the seized birds.
They also seized several traps and recovered different species of migratory birds including Kain, Talkus and Dankur.
Mohamamd Lutfur Parvez, ranger of wildlife crime control unit, said the crime control units-1 and 2 are continuing drive in the bird sanctuaries every day.
They collect information from the local people and arrest the hunters in the guise of customers. The crackdown will continue till March next year, he added.
Jahidul Kabir, a forest official, said poaching birds violating the Wildlife Conservation Act will carry one year’s imprisonment and fine of Tk 50,000.
He also laid importance on social resistance and awareness to stop bird poaching.