‘Possession, display or sale of munias is illegal’
Volunteers of Animal Rescuers and Environment Conservation Group rescued as many as 35 munias (Lonchura punctulata) and a pair of rose ringed parakeet from a 68-year-old woman who was selling them on Cross Cut Road in Gandhipuram on Sunday afternoon.
The volunteers, led by Mohammed Saleem of Environment Conservation Group, intercepted the bird vendor when she was found in possession of black-headed munia, white-throated munia, scaly-breasted munia, and white rumped munia numbering nearly 35 and a pair of rose ringed parakeet. They immediately informed the Forest Department and the birds were seized.
Forest Range Officer S.M. Natarajan said that the seized birds were initially released near Perur Tank. But since their wings had been clipped, the birds found it difficult to fly.
The birds are now at the Range office, where they will be fed for the next few days and released once the wings grow back. The birds will be released in a location closer to agricultural lands, where they could find feed, Mr. Natarajan said.
Munias are native to tropical Asia extending from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Philippines.
It has been introduced into many other parts of the world and now can be seen in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola as well as parts of Australia and the United States of America. They are found in open habitats including gardens and agricultural fields where they forage in groups for grass seeds.
Possession, display or sale of munias belonging to Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act is illegal, say forest officials.
District Forest Officer V. Thirunavukkarasu said that public who come across illegal sale of birds could inform the District Forest office at 0422-2456911.