Banning the hunt of Houbara bustards | Pakistan Today

Banning the hunt of Houbara bustards

The Houbara bustards which is also known as Mac Queen’s bustard or Asian bustard is commonly known all over the world especially in Pakistan, where it has already been placed in the endangered species list.

But recently, on Friday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan struck down a tough law that has imposed a permanent ban on the hunting of houbara bustards especially for Arabs. In the 1970s, the Houbara bustards was, also abundant in the oil-rich Arab states but, unfortunately, the bird was hunted near-extinction because they (Arabs) think it contains an aphrodisiac. This is a myth that has no scientific explanation.

Not to forget the fact that the wealthy sheikhs often travel in every winter from the Gulfs for hunting the bird (Houbara bustard ) by using falcons, dogs, guns etc in the provinces of Baluchistan, Sindh and southern Punjab.

Consequently, a large number of vulnerable birds migrate from the astrious freezing regions of Siberia to Pakistan, India and the rest of the world.
For many in Pakistan, the bird namely Houbara bustard has been emerging as a symbol of infirmity of the government. If the government does want to tie close relations with the Arab states and to promote peace and prosperity with the Arabs then a permanent ban will be a terrible misconduct in dealings with the Arabs. To protect the bird, the government has to form such projects that not only ban hunting completely but to help the bird’s preservation as well. For instance, in 1980, trophy hunting was introduced to save the national animal of Pakistan (Markhor). Generally, the range for hunting permits for Markhors was between USD 50,000 to 100,000.

According to some figures compiled by the KP Wildlife Department, 80 percent of the amount generated by the sale of each permit is distributed to the local community, and the remaining 20 percent is spent for improving biodiversity. It must be noticed that the results are surprising: the number of Markhors have actually increased from 275 in the early 1990 to over 3,500 in 2015. Only imposing a permanent ban on hunting won’t protect the birds from extinction but instead a strict regulated system of sustainable hunting, is required under Pakistan’s international obligations.

But we might yet save the bustards from completely dwindling from the country’s hills and deserts and every creature plays a part in the ecosystem. Preserve biodiversity and play your part to beautify Earth.

Zeeshan Nasir

Turbat, Kech



2 Comments

  1. NJain said:

    This is a very biased opinion. One can not assuredly say that lifting the hunting ban will be beneficial for the bird. I am sure there are ways to mend international relations while maintaining strictly enforced hunting bans for imperiled species. And I would like to emphasize the words "strictly enforced". Often times I have noticed that laws are enacted but they become a joke as a result of lax enforcement.

  2. junaid said:

    taining strictly enforced hunting bans for imperiled species. And I would like to emphasize the words "strictly enforced". Often times I have noticed that laws are enacted but they become a joke as a result of lax enforcement.

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