KENDRAPARA: Forest officials arrested two poachers and seized two migratory birds from them at Kantiakhai village within Bhitarkanika National Park on Friday. “Both the poachers were identified as Sukumar Maiti and Mahadev Dakua of Kantiakhai village. We seized two live migratory birds from them”, said Subrat Patra, the forest range officer of the park.
The poachers were arrested under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. They were produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) at Rajnagar on Friday. The court rejected their bail applications and remanded them in jail custody. This was the first poaching case detected by forest personnel near Bhitarkanika areas during this winter.
Bird poachers turn active when thousands of migratory birds swoop down on the area to spend winter in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika, a famous Ramsar wetland site and its nearby areas.
“Large number of migratory water birds like ducks, teal, stork, geese, swans, herons, cormorants, grebes, rails, coots, sandpipers, plovers, skimmers, skuas and other water birds have already arrived in Bhitarkanika and its nearby areas this winter.
Bhitarkanika is also home to migratory avian species like northern pintail, gull- billed tern, common sand piper, bar-headed geese, greylog geese, showvellers, osprey, wigeons, red kite, spotted eagle, ruddy shelduck, gargany teal, pintail, gadwall, little grebe, spot-billed pelican, lesser flamingo including 85 species of migratory birds.
The migratory birds, while traversing thousands of kilometres, also swoop down on the water bodies of Hukitola, Satabhaya, Agaranashi and about six tiny islands near Bhitarkanika.
The forest guards patrol the park and its nearby areas to prevent poaching during the season, the forest officer added.