Twenty-five dead migratory birds were seized and two poachers were arrested by forest officials from Chilika lake area on Friday.
These seizures and arrests occurred in Balugaon forest range area. It hinted that poaching continued in this major destination of migratory birds on eastern coast despite measures initiated by forest department to prevent it.
According to ranger of Balugaon forest range, Ram Chandra Sethi, the two poachers were nabbed from Nalabana bird sanctuary area. Carcases of 25 migratory birds were seized from their possession. Thirteen nets and one trap to catch birds were also seized from the duo.
These poachers were using nets and traps to catch birds. But some other poachers also use air guns, pellets and food materials laced with sedatives to catch these migratory birds, sources said.
During last week of December 2013, at least 25 dead birds were seized from poachers and six persons involved in poaching of these innocent birds had been arrested. The arrested persons included two teenagers, which hinted that youngsters of villages adjoining the Chilika lake were getting involved in poaching due to lure of easy money.
The migratory birds that reach Chilika lake during winter are eyed by poachers because they provide them some easy income. Till now there is demand for meat of these exotic migratory birds among some people living in Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Balugaon, Khallikote etc. The poachers try to encash this illegal demand.
However, the forest officials claimed that due to increased vigil, incidents of poaching have gone down in Chilika lake area. To protect the migratory avian guests in Chilika lake, the Forest Department has deputed around 70 staff to the area. Seventeen anti-poaching camps have been set up in the vast lake since migratory birds started coming to the Chilika in October 2013. Eight boats are also being used for patrolling to check menace of poachers.