UAE: 1,400 illegal hunting devices seized as birds flock to Sharjah

These devices lead birds to nets where they are captured in large numbers


As many as 1,460 bird-call hunting devices were confiscated in Sharjah as flocks of migratory birds returned to the emirate in March, the authorities said on Tuesday.

These devices emit sounds resembling bird calls, making it easier for illegal hunters to catch the birds’ attention and lead them to the nets set up to capture them in large numbers. Every year, especially during birds’ migration season, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) rolls out a massive crackdown on poaching and illegal hunting practices.

As EPAA inspectors stepped up the drive this year, they seized 195 more devices than their haul in the same period in 2020, where 1,265 devices were confiscated. More patrols were also deployed for monitoring as teams combed through the emirate between February 28 and March 28.

“The authority is keen to implement its agenda of preserving and protecting the environment, and spread environmental awareness. Specialised teams roam the emirate’s regions to confiscate these devices, while conducting awareness campaigns that stress the dangers of overhunting,” said Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, chairperson of Sharjah’s EPAA.

The EPAA is exerting all efforts to combat poaching of migratory wild or marine birds. Though challenges remain in locating the banned bird sound devices, inspectors are working hard to address the issues and eradicate illegal hunting once and for all.

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