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Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Khurda: Despite several anti-poaching measures and warnings issued by the Wildlife department, poachers have continued hunting birds on a large-scale basis in the Chilika Lake. With thousands of migratory birds arriving at Nalabana and Mangalajodi areas, these poachers have also become super-active in carrying out illegal activities.

Every year, these migratory birds from Siberia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia cross miles to reach Chilika in search of food.

As per sources, there is a great demand for meat of these migratory birds, which is why the poachers have been using different techniques for hunting and the attempts by forest and wildlife officials to sensitise people eventually gets foiled.

Meanwhile, members of the Bird Protection Committee (BPC) said there is a need to create awareness among the locals and the poachers about the safety and security of these birds.

“We need assistance from the wildlife authorities, forest department officials and Chilika Development Authority (CDA) so that we can reach out to more people and make them aware about the protection of the birds,” member of BPC, Jaykrushna Behera said.

On the other hand, the forest department has been taking adequate steps to protect the migratory birds from the poachers. There have been installations of signboards to create awareness against poaching, while 21 anti-poaching base camps have been set up and patrolling has been tightened inside the lake to ensure the safety of birds.

However, it has been alleged that the security arrangements are not adequate for the Chilika Lake spread across 11 thousand square kilometres.

In last one month, Tangi wildlife department has arrested 11 poachers along with seizure of many dead migratory birds, country made gun and boat, added sources.

“We have modern equipment through which we manage to keep a track of the poachers and nab them by doing regular patrolling in the lake. Till today nine cases have been registered and 11 accused have been forwarded to the court,” Ranger of Tangi Wildlife department, Subash Chandra Behera said.

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