The endangered migratory seabirds were found in Al Khudaira area last month Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA) has confiscated 755 bird sound devices and 10 migratory birds.

Four violations worth Dh40,000 were also issued as part of the EPAA’s ongoing campaigns to protect the environment, preserve biodiversity, and combat poaching. The movement came as part of the campaign implemented by the specialised teams in the current wild bird migration season.

The External Inspection Department of the EPAA confiscated 732 devices, 21 devices in the city of Kalba and an additional two devices in the city of Khorfakkan. As many as 10 migratory birds were also confiscated in the city of Sharjah.

The devices are used to lure birds for hunting Image Credit: Supplied

In cooperation with the Sharjah Central Region Police, the inspection teams raided two sites where two devices were confiscated and a raid on another farm where the birds were seized. Three devices were confiscated from the free zone in cooperation with the Sharjah Ports, Customs and Free Zones Authority in Al Hamriyah region.

Police and environment officials cooperated in the series of raids Image Credit: Supplied

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, chairperson of EPAA, said: “We are keen to carry out our tasks related to preserving and protecting the environment and spreading environmental awareness throughout society, in implementation and commitment to the directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. We are committed to translating his vision into preserving the environment, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability. Accordingly, the specialised teams roam various regions to detect and prevent poaching and confiscate illegal devices and equipment used to carry out these inhuman acts. They also carry out awareness campaigns about the dangers of poaching migratory birds and the need for residents to avoid it.”

Impact on wildlife

Al Suwaidi added that the field tours carried out by the specialised teams in the new campaign resulted in the confiscation of 755 devices that imitate the sounds of birds. Illegal devices are used for hunting birds by attracting them through the sounds emitted, which leads to the gathering of birds in large numbers around them. Poachers then set up nets to capture the birds or by releasing birds of prey such as falcons to hunt them, which is illegal due to the adverse effects on wildlife and the destruction of natural resources.

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The EPAA team’s report indicated that the date of the first arrest was March 2, and the type of violation was using devices to emit bird sounds in wild areas in the Khedira region. The raid was carried out in cooperation with the Maleiha Police Centre, and a fine was issued for Dh10,000.

On March 8, the teams seized another device to emit bird sounds in the wild area at Al Blaidah region, while in use in a wild area, and a fine was subsequently issued for Dh10,000 .

On March 21, two violations were committed, the first in the Suhaila region, with a value of Dh10,000 . It concerned the use of devices that produce bird sounds on the farm, and it resulted from a raid in cooperation with the Al Dhaid police. The second violation was for possessing endangered migratory seabirds in the Al Khudaira area, where the raid took place in collaboration with the Maleiha Police Centre.

The EPAA acknowledge the Executive Council’s decision to prohibit the hunting of wild and migratory birds. This decision is part of the collaboration in executing Administrative Resolution No. 9 of 2016, pertaining to the hunting, selling, and possessing of endangered wild and marine migratory birds in the emirate of Sharjah and Executive Council Resolution No. 12 of 2014 regarding the ban on trading, selling, possessing, using, and importing devices that produce the sounds of wild birds in the emirate of Sharjah.