By Bosco Dominique
Poaching of migratory birds is rampant along the coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, particularly on the stretch between Mahabalipuram and Nagapattinam, charges a Cuddalore-based non-government organization (NGO).
Several narikuravas and villagers in these regions poach thousands of migratory birds that come to water bodies and sanctuaries to lay eggs in this season. They particularly target cranes (egrets) as these birds can be easily caught.
After capturing two or three cranes using small nets, the narikuravas make bigger net traps to capture a large number of cranes. They make scores of crane-like structures using thermocol and place them in the net traps near a water body or agricultural field. They stitch the eyes of the cranes they caught earlier and tie them in the traps.
Flocks of cranes passing through the region descend to feed, and the poachers trigger the net trap and capture scores of birds. They have been poaching thousands of birds using this technique. They sell the meat to the local villagers and bars and restaurants, where its demand has been on the rise.
"Everyday thousands of birds are captured and killed for meat along the coast regions in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Earlier only narikuravas used to hunt birds but of late local villagers, particularly farmers, have started poaching the birds. Poaching has been rampant in Cuddalore district, particularly in villages like Nochikadu, Thyagavalli, Naduthittu and neighbouring regions," R Surendran, president of Cuddalore-based NGO Aalamaram, told TOI.
The NGO regretted that the forest department had not been strictly enforcing the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and taking stringent action against the poachers and violators despite several complaints. More....