Owl trade profits poachers
- Night bird sold for up to a lakh across borders
Article Date: 2008-08-13 Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com
By Aneeta Sharma
Ranchi, Jharkhand, India - For smugglers, owl trafficking has become one of the profitable businesses these days.
With each of the owl fetching as much as Rs 1 lakh, the nocturnal creature is
almost on the threshold of being endangered. The state forests, environment and
wildlife department has sounded a red alert to all foresters keep a sharp look
on poachers and smugglers of owls, said chief wildlife warden A.K. Singh.
Owls are in great demand in the global market with several countries using them
for alternative medicine and also for research work.
The menace of smuggling of owls from the country has reached alarming
proportions. The fallout is estimated to the range from extinction of many
species of the bird to critical depletion in number of other species. The
depletion in the number of owls has resulted in a radical increase in the number
of field rats in the countryside which in turn affect crops and grain kept for
storage, said a forest official.
Bird experts say that three species of owls - Barn, Great Horned and Eurasian
Eagle - are currently in great demand and each of these bird could fetch
anywhere between Rs 30,000 and Rs 1 lakh in the international market. Twenty-two
species of owls are found in India and most of them are also spotted in
Jharkhand. Trafficking of owls mostly goes on through the porous borders of
Nepal and Bangladesh. Owls are being smuggled out by roads and in ones and twos
since they weigh anywhere around 3-4kg and cannot be carried in bulk.
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2007-05-18 - Birsa Zoo officials spend sleepless nights as two owls go missing by Namita Stewati - Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
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