Climate Impact on Birds migrated from different region to province of Sindh


The coastal belt and lower Sindh districts has the environmental suitability to attract the world’s most rarely found Houbara Bustard bird migrating from Central Asian countries towards Thatta, Badin, Hyderabad, Jamshoro and Sujawal in Sindh province.

The houbara bustard is a resident of the region around the Aral Sea and the Kyzyl-Kum desert in central Asia and it leaves its colder habitat to spend winters in a relatively warm environment in the arid zones of Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab.

Arab Hunters in Sindh

Thousands of birds migrate to Jati tehsil in Sujawal district, Janghri, Thano Bulla Khan, Kotri, Manjhand and Sehwan tehsils Jamshoro district, Keenjhar Lake and coastal belt of Thatta and Badin districts are very popular and easy places to hunt houbara bustards with the help of local influential. Every year members of royal family from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar, Baharain and Oman invited here to hunt this precious bird without any limit.

According to data available on website of IUCN, the houbara bustard was already listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and feared to be decreasing by 30 per cent a year in Pakistan.

The country was also a signatory to various international nature conservation agreements that called for protection of the rare species and national laws also banned houbara bustard hunting, yet special permits were issued to foreigners and the violation of international commitments.

This bird was declared to be among endangered species in 1912 and a permanent ban on its hunting was placed in 1971.

However, under Section 16 of the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1972 the government could declare any area as game reserve where hunting and shooting of wildlife would not be allowed except through special permits, which might specify maximum number of animals or birds allowed to be killed or captured.

The problem is not that limited hunting of the houbara bustard is unacceptable. The problem is that — as the federal and provincial government has so crassly indicated in its review petition — governments here are keen to oblige Arab royals and leaders.

That means issuing excessive hunting permits and doing nothing to ensure hunting parties comply with the conditions of the permits and not grossly exceed their quotas.

A far more sensible approach would have been to submit, along with the core legal arguments, a detailed plan on how the provincial and federal governments would ensure that only limited hunting in strict compliance with license conditions will be allowed and what fresh conservation steps will be taken to protect the migratory birds.