GOLAKGANJ, June 19 � Birds are back on the poachers� hit list in Dhubri district. New groups of poachers who have entered the illegal trade have extended their operations to new bird-animal habitats and have adopted innovative methods, sources said.
In most of the reserve forests of Dhubri district, valuable birds like peacocks, white-winged wood ducks, pheasants, doves, drakes, ganders, kingfishers etc., as also animals are under increasing pressure from poaching, which combined with traditional problems of habitat loss and alteration is today proving to be an alarming threat to their population.
Masud Akhtar Zaman, a social worker and an advocate of Dhubri court revealed that poaching of deer for meat, a relatively new phenomenon in Dhubri district has begun. Many valuable deer, male and female, have been killed in recent times. In the year 2013-14, 17 deer were poached in Kazigaon, and Bashabri forests, either by a gang of criminals or by a new group of poachers. Though the method adopted is shooting, poisoning, electrocution, the traditional bows and arrows are also being used.
Poaching affects birds and animals in more than traditionally understood ways. It disrupts breeding, causing fights between young bulls and older males. Gunshot wounds weaken animals, forcing them to turn to crop-raiding as an easy way of getting food. It increases natural deaths which owe their occurrence to human-inflicted causes. It even changes migration patterns.
The international trade in animal parts, both in Bangladesh and Dhubri, has picked up. That new markets are emerging have been documented in various reports. Being softer and more workable, the skin of an animal of Dhubri district commands a higher price in the Bangladeshi markets.