Protected birds rescued from captivity by Forest Department

Rare species belonging to the finch family of songbirds rescued from traders

About 70 protected birds, primarily belonging to the finch family of seed-eating songbirds, which are vital cogs in the agrarian ecosystem, were rescued from captivity by Forest Department officials here on Monday.

There are only eight species of finch that are found in India.

The seizure on Friday included four species of finch alone, including scaly-breasted munia, black-throated munia, Indian silverbill and black-headed munia.

The finch species of birds are in high demand as pets as they are songbirds and flaunt colourful plumage, especially the males. They are also easy to breed.

The passerine birds were retrieved from a 70-year-old woman peddler in the market near the Old Bus Stand by a team of forest department officials acting on a tip-off. They were later released into the suburban grasslands.

No arrests made

While no arrest was made, the department is keen on cooperating with counterparts in Tamil Nadu, to nail poaching of these protected birds suspected to be occurring in parts of rural Salem.

“Finches are essentially grassland birds that play an important role in the agricultural ecosystem, especially in the propagation of seeds,” said Vanjulavalli Karthik, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Puducherry-Karaikal.

Designated as “vulnerable”, the finch has been given double protection, both under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and under the multilateral treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

This makes trapping, hunting or trading of the birds illegal. The Forest Department has sought the cooperation of the public in reporting any sighting of protected species kept in captivity.

Those in possession of any information regarding poaching can contact 0413 2204808.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:15:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/protected-birds-rescued-from-captivity-by-forest-department/article30966355.ece

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