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Scarce rain causes low migratory duck arrivals.

CHITRAL -- The scanty rainfall has led to the low migratory Siberian duck arrivals in Chitral valley and thus, delaying the start of the hunting season.

Asmat Ali, a veteran hunter from Denin village, told Dawn that the inclement weather forced ducks to descend in the mountainous valley of Chitral on the way to the country's plains from Siberia.

He said hunters always prayed for rainfall and cloudy weather as they caused the influx of migratory ducks in the valley.

The hunter said the ducks descended in natural ponds and river, while artificial ponds were also developed to lure migratory birds during the hunting season.

An official of the wildlife department said Chitral served as the flyway of more than 1.2 million migratory birds every year and that the flocks consisted of many globally important species.

He said the ducks began migrating from Siberia in February in large numbers and tended to follow the path above the river.

The environment-loving people expressed concern about the ruthless hunting of migratory ducks in the region and feared there would be no such birds if the practice wasn't checked.

They said the Indus plains served as the breeding ground for most migratory birds.

Conservationist Shahriyar Baig said several waterfowl species of the world fame were also endangered, which migrated from Siberia to Chitral in the early days of the spring season, as they're ruthlessly hunted in Chitral for which the local hunters raised artificial ponds along the river.

He said during the season, a hunter forgot about all other activities to ruthlessly massacre migratory birds.

The activist complained that the wildlife department seemed to be least pushed about checking the ruthless duck hunting for which the people didn't follow rules mentioned in the wildlife law.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Feb 2, 2018
Words:346
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