The Forest Department, with the help of conservationists, has rescued a juvenile black kite from the possession of an illegal trader in the city on Tuesday. Forest officials have detained two persons in connection with the case.
According to sources, through informants, conservationists came to know that the trader had purchased a juvenile black kite from someone in the city’s suburbs. The information was provided to the Forest Department and officers nabbed the trader. Based on information provided by the trader, they then nabbed a man who had purchased the scheduled bird from him. The Forest Department has imposed a fine on the duo.
Meanwhile, conservationists said that the information about the availability of such birds is circulated through social media and message sharing groups. “It is illegal to buy/sell or keep such scheduled birds or animals at home. But this is still happening in the State due to lack of awareness,” said Sadiq Ali, founder/trustee, Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust. He added that a few months ago they rescued a hawk from the suburbs. “We made a similar rescue in Coonoor too. The thieves climbed a mobile tower and took some fledglings and sold them for ₹15,000 per pair. We have made many such rescues,” he said.
During COVID-19, many children have been demanding pets, especially birds. “Hence the trading of scheduled animals and birds is increasing. Many parents are trying to procure Himalayan and Rose Ringed Parakeets for their kids. This is because they do not know it is illegal and it is an offence to purchase such birds. Sufficient awareness should be created about the Wildlife Protection Act,” Mr. Ali added.
With illegal sales of scheduled birds and animals increasing, conservationists have stressed the need for exclusive wildlife forest stations across She state that can tackle such crimes. “The government should have a dedicated cyber wing for this, as most of the deals are made online. We will be making a request to Chief Minister M K Stalin soon,” said Mr. Ali.