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Accused who killed 30 migratory birds in Khatauni arrested

The times of India, Dehradun, 26th November, 2015

The forest department has apprehended four accused in the Khatauni area of Terai west forest with carcasses of 30 migratory birds of Cormorant species. This is the first such case where migratory birds have been killed in such large number. The Terai west has been infamous for the villagers killing the migratory birds for easy availability. However the forest department takes the credit of cracking the case due to its strong information network.


There are large number of wetlands in the Terai West area where these migratory birds stay for few months in the month of October.


Parag Dhakate, divisional forest official said, "Our sources in the village informed us about the accused having poisoned the birds and killed them. We nabbed them from wetland of Nanakmatta with carcasses of 30 Cormorant birds. The people here have been using this practice of poisoning the eatables and putting them on leaves for birds to feed on. These people actually sneak into the wetland area on the pretext of fishing but actually they leave the poisoned material and wait for the birds to feed on them. In very short duration, the birds collapse on the spot only and the villagers collect them."


He said, owing to the easy availability and no cost involved in the entire exercise, the villagers have been selling the birds on dirt cheap prices in the markets and also using them for their own consumption.


"Every year, we nab people with eight to 10 birds in two-three seisures. However this year, it has been the biggest catch with 30 birds. It is all because of our strong network of informers which has further been alerted. The patrolling and vigil on watch towers of our wetlands have been increased," he said.


According to Dhakate, there are large number of migratory species which has been coming from Siberia and other parts of Central Asia for their long flight. It is unfortunate that these high altitude guests which halt on the wetland for its suitable climate and perhaps sense of safety becomes prey of greed of villagers.