Suspected wildlife hunter intercepted, gun seized

ZIRO, 4 Mar: One suspected hunter in possession of an SBBL gun and two live bullets was intercepted by a combined patrolling team which carried out an intensive search operation along paddy fields here in Lower Subansiri district at 5 am of Thursday. The gun has been seized.

The operation was carried out in order to check illegal hunting of migratory birds in and around Ziro.

The team comprised members of the Dutta Pyapung Conservation Club (DPCC), NgunuZiro and the Hapoli forest division led by Divisional Forest Officer Abhinav Kumar.

The DFO welcomed the initiative taken by the DPCC and NgunuZiro, and appealed to other local NGOs to volunteer to assist the forest department in curbing hunting of migratory birds in the Ziro plateau.

The Ziro plateau is a wintering ground for migratory birds from Tibet and Siberia. Recently, a mandarin duck was spotted in the area, which was the first recorded sighting of the species in Arunachal.

The practice of wet rice cultivation in the Ziro valley provides a good feeding ground for these migratory birds in winters. The migratory birds then become a prime target for local hunters, who hunt them for consumption.

The forest department here has been conducting raids in the local markets to stop the sale of wildlife meat, and has coordinated with local NGOs to spread awareness about the legal provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. (DIPRO)