The poaching of migratory birds that fly from Siberia to wetlands in northern India to seek temporary shelter, has increased, and this is causing concern among the authorities.
These birds fly to northern India to escape the icy winters of Siberia. The weather at their home grounds near the Arctic zone becomes unbearably cold at this time and conditions and temperatures become unsuitable for their survival.
Some of the birds have flocked to Kanpur's Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary.
"These birds come during winters in India and are considered to be warm. This is why their demand increases and poaching as well. We earn money through this. The earning depends on the size of the bird. But we earn around Rs.1000 to Rs.2000, depending on the type and size of the bird," said a poacher, Gagan.
Various species of Siberian birds including, the Siberian Crane, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Northern Pintail, Wagtail, Wagtail, Northern Shoveler, Rosy Pelican and Gadwall, migrate to Indian wetlands.
Meanwhile, another poacher, Uday Pratap, said the demand for these birds is on a rise during winters and the price range can go as high as Rs.5000 depending on the type and size of the bird.
"The moment the bird comes near the pond we kill it. There is lot of demand for these birds during winters so we sell them in the market," said Pratap.
The birds attract a lot of tourists to the sanctuaries. The migratory birds begin their annual flight from Siberia, travel through Afghanistan and Central Asia and arrive in India for the entire season.