KARACHI: The Sindh wildlife department on Tuesday recovered six endangered falcons from a flat located near the Karachi Toll Plaza.
Karachi Wildlife field officer Mumtaz Soomro said that four saker falcons and two peregrine falcons were recovered from a person identified as Mureed Abbas, who was fined Rs50,000 after registration of a first offence report. He also said that the suspected culprit had brought the birds from Punjab.
All species of falcons have been declared as endangered and are protected under the provincial law.
The falcons, which are currently in the custody of Karachi wildlife office, will be released on Wednesday in the Kirthar National Park.
In the last few weeks, Sindh wildlife department 15 falcons in all; eight at Empress Market and seven in a passenger bus at Toll Plaza on the Superhighway.
Around 5,000 to 6,000 falcons are captured and smuggled out of Pakistan every year and sold to Arab sheikhs in the Middle East according to recent media reports.
There has been a major decline in the population of falcons over the past 15 years in the country, according to studies and certain falcon species are becoming rarer, most significantly the ‘saker’ and ‘peregrine’ falcons, which are largely used in falconry.
“Increasing interest in falconry from the Middle East is encouraging smugglers to trap these birds alive. As such, the illegal trade is a primary threat to numerous species of falcons within Pakistan,” says the WWF-P website.
Internationally, intensified use of pesticides has been identified as a major threat to their population.