DailyTimes | Licence to kill birds available for just Rs 2,000

KARACHI: The wildlife species in Sindh are suffering for different reasons, such as continuous dry spell in different arid regions of the province, illegal hunting and poaching of the wild species, which has badly affected the wildlife species, but despite all of it the Sindh wildlife department has officially opened hunting season in the province on Friday.

Just to earn a meager amount, the provincial wildlife department has opened the hunting season officially in the province and has invited bids through the newspaper advertisements from general public to get official licenses to kill the wild species in the province.

The Sindh Wildlife department has announced on Friday that hunting season 2016-17 in the province will begin from November 6 and will conclude on February 26, 2107. Anybody having a shooting permit, which costs Rs 2,000 could shoot 10 partridges, 10 sand grouses, or 40 birds of these species in case of a hunting party comprising four or more hunters, having shooting permits. These bird species can be hunted on Sundays only, from November 6 to January 29, 2017.

For the birds like quails, there is no bag limit, which means after getting a license one can kill any quantity they want to. The hunting of quail can be done every day except Fridays and the hunting season for quail's will continued till February 28, 2017, however game reserves, cantonment areas, Khirthar National Park, wildlife sanctuaries, Pakistan Air Force Base in Bholari and the entire riverine area between Guddu Barrage to River Indus delta up to the Arabian Sea shall remain closed for hunting of quails, the announcement added.

According to the official announcement by Sindh Wildlife Department, the hunters can shoot 15 moorhens, snipes, godwits, ruff, red shanks, stints, dunlins, coots, curlew and other ducks, excluding the protected species, which are included in schedule II of the protected wildlife species, such as marbelled teal, lesser whistling teal, cotton teal and spot bill. A hunting party, comprising four or more persons, can shoot 60 birds of these species. These birds could be hunted on Saturdays and Sundays.

With the announcements, the Sindh wildlife department has declared some areas across the province and these areas are declared "closed" for hunting in this season.

The subdivisions of Sukkur district Salehpat and Pano Akil, in Ghotki district, subdivision Mirpur Mathelo, Khangarh Sharif and Dahrki, in Khairpur district, Kotdeji, Kingri, Gambat and Nara subdivisions, in Naushero Feroze, Moro, Kandyaro and Naushero Feroze and in district Qambar-Shahdadkot district, Warah, Shahdadkot, Qambar Ali Khan and Qubo Saeed Khan are declared as 'closed' for this hunting. Also Bakrani and Dokri in district Larkana, Thul and Garhi Khero in Jacobabad district, Lakhi Ghulam Shah and Kahnpur in district Shikarpur, Kashmore and KAndhkot in district Kashmore, Hyderabad and LAtifabad in Hyderabad district, Bulri Shah Karim in Tando Muhamad Khan district, Chamber and Tando Allahyar in district Tando Allahyar, Matiyari and Saeedabad in Matiyari district, Khirpo and Sinjhoro in Sanghar district, Qazi Ahmed in Benazirabad district, Jhudu, Mirpurkhas, Hussain Bux Mari and Mirwah Gorchani in Mirpurkhas district, Pitho in Umerkot district, Mithi, Salamkot, Diplo and Kaloi in Tharparkar district, Matli in Badin district, Thatta, Keti Bunder in Thatta district, Johi in Dadu, Jati, Shahbunder and Kharochhan in Sujawal district, Karachi east and West in Karachi district, Kotri, TB Khan Majhind and Sehwan in Jamshoro district are declared as closed for the hunting in this season. The other areas will be opened for hunting during 2016-17 hunting season, according to the Wildlife Department announcement.

According to officials of Sindh Wildlife Department, the "closed" and "opened" areas are usually interchanged and the areas are usually closed for one hunting season to provide some relief to the bird's species, so that their population can recover from the massacre carried out during the hunting season when these areas were open.

The wildlife authorities justifying the opening of the hunting seasons, saying it is a 'routine matter' in which the department allows 'limited' permissions to the general public to hunt the wildlife species.

"The hunting season is not for the entire province, but we have surveyed and identified some areas, where there are game birds and we have also opened hunting because it is a sport," said Saeed Akhtar Baloch, Chief Conservator Wildlife Sindh.

Talking to Daily Times, Baloch said that the department will not issue permission in the areas where migratory birds are supposed to visit in the winter. "If we will not open the hunting officially, there will be an unrest, therefore it is important to open hunting officially," Baloch justified the opening of hunting season.