Peshawar: Wildlife dept seizes, frees nine falcons
PESHAWAR: The wildlife department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday seized nine falcons, an endangered bird of prey, during a raid on a house in Dera Ismail Khan and set them free.
The birds, which included one peregrine falcon, four kestrels and four buzzards, were to be sold on the market, Safdar Ali Shah, conservator of the provincial wildlife department, southern circle, told reporters here at the golf club.
He said birds were part of the ecosystem and had the right to live and fly freely, adding that though falcons were ruthlessly trapped, the government was doing its best to discourage the practice and provide protection to birds for continuation of their population under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) to which it is a signatory.
Mr Shah said falcon was an endangered bird of prey that inhabits the steppes, sub-deserts and open terrains of East Europe, Central Asia, Russia, China and Mongolia but migrated to Pakistan in winter.
He said wild falcons were exposed to illegal hunting and sale, adding that there was a ban on trapping, import and export of falcons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for fear of extinction.
The wildlife department official said saker and peregrine were the two main species of falcons used for hunting and traditional falconry.
“Conservation of the population of these majestic birds is necessary under our international commitments on biodiversity. We’re taking strict measures to protect these birds,” he said.
DFO (wildlife extension) Sajjad Ali and DFO (wildlife), DI Khan Rehmatullah were also present on the occasion.