A report published in The Daily Star on the occasion of the World Animal Day, titled “Sale of wild birds rampant on Dhaka-Sylhet highway”, caught my attention. It describes how traders are selling herons and other species of birds captured from the haors of Nabiganj upazila.
Unfortunately, wildlife markets exist in many locations across the country, mainly because we have failed to implement the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act properly. What is worse is that we continue to violate the rules and regulations of the Act, and easily get by.
Even though the authorities continue to fight poachers, hunters and smugglers, it seems more needs to be done. It is regretful that many tourists who visit the scenic locations are also the buyers of the wild birds. Don’t they realise that the wild birds they purchase play a vital role in maintaining the environment?
Immediate measures need to be taken to educate the citizens about the importance of birds and other wild animals and the roles they play in the ecosystem. It’s a shame that such a demand for wild animals still exists in our society, especially from the well-off yet negligent customers. Mother Nature has suffered tremendously already and if we do not act now, the impact of this despicable practice on our environment will be huge.
Mehedi Hasan, Barishal