Pic by Imteyaz Ahmed : Sarottar Lake)

Satish Aditya

Motihari :  Divisional Forest  Officer  (DFO), East Champaran, Prabhakar Jha,  has launched a special drive  against poaching, trapping, killing , and marketing  of migratory birds in the district this winter season. DFO Jha and asked the social workers and bird lovers
to protect these winged visitors in water bodies.  He also said no case of Bird Flu has been found   reported in the district till date.                The East Champaran District Administration  taken effective steps to stop trapping and marketing  of the migratory birds. All the blocks officers and the SHOs of all the police stations have been directed  to keep vigil on lakes, rivers, and  other water bodies, to ensure safety of migratory birds,

DFO Jha said that the Environment and Forest  Department has taken a serious note of poaching and trapping of migratory birds in the district on a complaint lodged by  some bird lovers of the district and has directed the administration to take all possible measures to
stop  it. The DFO  said  he has constituted a vigilance team to  keep vigil on  water bodies and take action with the support of police  against anti -social elements involved in poaching racket. For the first time, this Wildlife Protection Act is being implemented  strictly  in the district and no  migratory bird  is being sold  by any one at any place, Jha claimed.
.DFO  Jha said, ” We are trying to create awareness among locals about the importance of migratory birds  and its conservation
for better environment. This year  due to lockdown, the air and noise pollution level has dropped and the people stay indoor so the
birds are  free to fly and one can hear chirping of birds  in all rivers, lakes, and ponds in the district. Sarottar Lake  is a birds paradise  since long.”

More than 50,000 have migratory birds entered East Champaran Distric in November 2020 from European coasts, Central  Asian, and Himalayan region to escape the freezing cold there with large number of them flocking to big Sarottar Lake  under Kesariya police station. Sarottar Lake is around 60 km away from Motihari Town. These birds breed  here in warmer environment. They return to their
homes with the onset of summer in March  and April months with their off-springs.

Large flocks of these birds including common Teal, Siberian Cranes, Tufled Duck, Blacktail GodWit, Black head, Lalsar ,Pin-tailed, Spoon-billed and white necked Sstork collect fly to Sarrottar Lake. .Around 30,000  migratory birds  have taken shelter at this lake this year. The lake is spread over an area of 262  acre adjoining  NH28 near Dhangarha

Noted social activist Sanjay Satyarthi said,” The migratory birds are being sold here  by poachers at  Rs 2,000 each pair on personal contact basis  due to fear of police.”

Several  shopkeepers of Dhangadha Chowk on NH28  while talking  to this reporter said that  poaching of migratory birds  is quite
rampant in this lake by dozen of  poachers  in night hours but no action has been taken by police  against then in last  two months.