A man has been arrested for allegedly poaching 16 migratory birds from the Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary wetland in Ahmedabad district early on Monday, state forest department officials said.
Around 4 am on Monday, a forest department patrol team stopped the man, later identified as Rajesh Bhuvatra, a resident of Shiyal village at Bavla taluka, and found 15 Garganey ducks and a Godwit from a polythene bag he was carrying.
“We had an intelligence input that a poaching attempt could be made in the wetlands and, therefore, we had intensified patrolling in the area. Suspecting the movement of the man so early in the morning, our team stopped him and found 16 birds from him,” Brijeshkumar Chaudhary, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Nalsarovar, said.
“Bhuvatra has confessed that he had poached the birds from the sanctuary limits. An investigation is on if he had poached the birds for his personal consumption or if he intended to supply them to someone else,” the DCF said.
Garganey ducks are native to Europe but migrate to Asia during winter to escape the cold. Godwits are also a migratory species, forest officers said. “Five of the 15 Garganeys were alive and they have been released into the open. The 11 other birds, which were found dead, have been taken to the Wildlife Care Centre in Bodakdev, Ahmedabad, for post-mortem. The accused has been booked under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, for the hunting of protected species,” Chaudhary added.
The incident comes just two days after a mob allegedly beat a striped hyena to death and attempted to burn its carcass at Kalana village in Ahmedabad’s Sanand taluka. The forest department has arrested four men and a juvenile from Kalana in the incident.
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