Bird Species Endangered in Gilan

Bird Species Endangered in GilanBird Species Endangered in Gilan

Due to the recent precipitation, paddy fields in Gilan Province have turned into wetlands and migratory birds have been seeking shelter in them. Unfortunately, hunters have been targeting the birds, says Asghar Khodkar, head of the Rasht Department of Environment (DoE).

Mallards, coots, and Eurasian teals, are among the birds being shot for the local dish ‘fesenjan’ stew.  

“Like most other areas, Rasht’s wildlife is declining significantly in variety and number. Non-methodical hunting has endangered several species of birds,” he said quoted by ISNA.

This year, hunting of birds has been banned in Rasht; despite that several hunters violate the rules and continue to kill and maim birds. During the past days, several hunting guns have been confiscated, some of which were not even officially registered, the official said.    

With cooler weather, several habitats including Pir Bazar, Khoshk-e Bijar, Chookam, and certain areas of Bojagh National Park, which come under the Rash DoE, have all been welcoming flocks of migratory birds.

Observers say the number of birds flocking in has not changed as compared to last year. An official census of birds, however, will soon begin in Rasht.

 Ducks Drop

Meanwhile, head of Lahijan DoE Hossein Mazloomi, said that in comparison with previous years, the number of wild birds, including ducks, have decreased in the region.

In an environment meet at Lahijan, the official said public participation is needed to tackle this issue.

Blaming financial difficulties is not a good enough reason to illegally kill the birds. Unrestrained hunting of migratory birds and ducks will inflict permanent harm to the region’s ecology, he warned. “City and village councils as well as villagers must all come together to save the birds,” he said.

There are several other ways of earning income other than killing birds. Bird-watching is one of the most popular sources of revenue nowadays. “If more bird-watching tours are conducted in Lahijan, not only will people stop killing birds, they will also grasp the true nature of the damage caused on the environment by killing them,” he added.