Balochistan_ the richest province of Pakistan occupying 44% national territory_ is well-off from natural resources. Apart from this, it is bestowed with unique landscape, magnificent plains and marvelous deserts. These not only attract the tourists, but the geography also holds a magnificent importance globally.
Similarly, it is an appropriate location for various migratory and local birds. With the advent of winter, majority of migratory birds, including sandgrouses, pelicans, houbara bustards, pintails, mallards and cranes cover thousands of miles to reach different parts of Pakistan and India.
These guest birds, during this long journey, take short stay in various parts of Balochistan and consider it as a safe and secure place for themselves.
Unfortunately, wherever these birds make stopover, they become the victims of brutal hunters and hunted viciously.
Undoubtedly, hunting is an old tradition. Perhaps in ancient days, people used to hunt birds and wild animals due to hunger to fill their empty stomachs. But in today’s world, developed countries have stricted the rules and conditions for hunters and strong measures are taken for breeding and conservation of wildlife on scientific basis. But in countries like Pakistan, there is still no any proper check and balance regarding hunting.
That is why, local people, as well as foreign dignitaries, do not hesitate in slaughtering these rare and innocent birds and species. Hunters are allowed to hunt freely in any part of the state. Simultaneously, in current days of lockdown majority of people from cities come to villages for hunting birds_ but as a hobby, not compulsion.
However, environmental experts say, deforestation, increasing number of hunters, human activities and degradation of habitate are huge challenges which are causing decline in number of migratory birds.
Meanwhile, Balochistan has been victim of drought for a long period which already has toughened the survival of many local birds and migratory birds. They have even change their routes during the drought.
In perspective of experts, birds are crucial for providing ecological benefits because they hunt insects and weed which provides massive benefits to agriculture sector. As for two years, the agriculture products of Pakistan are worsely infected from locusts and other insects.
Sadly, government is silent about this serious matter. In 2014, Balochistan High Court put a ban on hunting houbara bustard when a dignitary from Saudi Arabia had hunted 2,100 houbara bustards in Chaghi district. Afterward, the decision was challenged by filing a petition from former Speaker of Balochistan Muhammad Aslam Bothani.
Finally, in January of 2016, Supreme Court of Pakistan lifted the ban on hunting of houbara bustard.
This is the supreme obligation of forest and wildlife department to take all necessary steps for protection and conservation of all endangered birds in order to vanish the genocide of these innocent birds.