Poachers kill five migratory birds tagged with satellite transmitters
Srinagar, Dec 18:
Scientists’ attempts to monitor the migration pattern of birds suffered a major
setback when five avian guests tagged with state-of-the-art satellite
transmitters were shot down by poachers in Kashmir.
thousands of migratory birds from central Asia and southern Europe visit
various water bodies in Kashmir. However, there has been no detailed study
conducted on the migration pattern of birds visiting the valley.
In 2018, a study
was initiated by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and
Technology (SKUAST) in collaboration with Scientific and Engineering Research
Board to track the migration pattern of birds which visit the wetlands of
associated with the project said five birds were tagged with satellite
transmitters or PTT (Platform Transmitter Terminal) in February 2018.
project, we acquired five Platform Transmitter Terminal (PIT) collars. They
were fitted on birds including mallard, shoveler, grey legged geese, gadwall
and common teal,” he said.
Once they were
fitted, the PTTs got linked with the ARGOS satellite. “The tracking was
successful for a period of time but poaching came as a setback,” he said.
The findings of
the study reveal that the movement of mallards and grey legged geese was traced
for three weeks. Similarly, the migratory movement of gadwall was traced from
March to June 2018.
“The last signal
was received from Manibugh Pampore wetland. It was presumed that they are shot
dead and the equipment was destroyed by the poachers,” it says.
investigator of the project Professor Khursheed Ahmad said poaching was a major
challenge and suggested adequate number of PPTs installed on birds for their
“We are putting
in our best efforts but they will not serve any purpose if the birds are not
protected from poachers. Consequently, with no scientific data on the birds,
the conservation process will not be a success,” he said.
An official of
Wildlife Department said that it is not possible to stop poaching in Kashmir.
“We have our squads’ active in protected areas. However, birds usually fly away
from wetlands to crop fields during the nighttime in search of food grains.
This is when the poachers target them,” he added.