Hunters nabbed over bird-trap­ping record­ings

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu huangzhiling@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Po­lice in Ziyang, Sichuan prov­ince, have nabbed two crim­i­nal sus­pects who used record­ings of bird calls to lure and catch thou­sands of birds.

On Oct 17, po­lice pa­trolling the city’s Yan­jiang dis­trict hap­pened upon the bird hunters and con­fis­cated 3,071 birds as well as nets and record­ing machines.

The hunters had used the machines with recorded bird calls to lure more than 5,000 birds to nets set up in many parts of the dis­trict over two weeks. Over 2,000 birds had been sold to Guang­dong prov­ince, po­lice said.

All of the con­fis­cated birds are species un­der State pro­tec­tion, with two be­ing Dau­rian red­starts, 3,067 lit­tle buntings, one king­fisher and one black­faced bunt­ing.

Shen You, 42, a long­time bird watcher, set up the Chengdu Bird Watch­ing So­ci­ety in Chengdu, the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal, in 2004 with two friends and is now its pres­i­dent.

About 10 years ago, Shen vis­ited Viet­nam and found bird hunters with machines that had recorded bird calls. The prac­tice ap­peared in China sev­eral years later and many hunters are us­ing the machines, he said.

Hunters record the calls of birds they have cap­tured and share the record­ings with other hunters. As a re­sult, hunters have recorded the calls of many species. When they want to hunt a par­tic­u­lar species, they set up a net and play the record­ing to lure the species to the net, Shen said.

Ac­cord­ing to Bei­jing Youth Daily, record­ing machines can be pur­chased from on­line stores. One ma­chine has 1,173 recorded calls of birds and an­i­mals. The birds in­clude those un­der State pro­tec­tion such as the tur­tle­dove, yel­low-breasted bunt­ing and bam­boo par­tridge.

On Sept 27, bird lovers in Bei­jing found eight nets used to hunt birds in Tongzhou dis­trict. The long­est was nearly 30 me­ters.

Hunt­ing pro­tected birds is il­le­gal, and de­part­ments in charge of forestry in the coun­try have de­stroyed many nets this year, Shen said.

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