Abu Dhabi: Saudi authorities have started an investigation into a video clip that was circulated on social media about a group of people setting up a network for hunting birds in a public park in contravention of the regulations, Major Raed Al Maliki, the spokesperson for the Special Forces for Environmental Security, said.
Major Al Maliki said legal action will be taken against anyone involved in this violation.
He called on citizens and residents to live up to their responsibility in preserving the environment and wildlife, and to take the initiative to report all violations.
With thousands of migratory birds flocking to the Kingdom from all parts of the globe during the winter, the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) is enforcing its ban on the hunting of birds.
According to an official from the SWA, the birds come from western and eastern Europe. “They normally dwell in the Eastern Province, Red Sea coast and in the central part of the Kingdom where there is greenery during their stay,” he said.
The migratory birds include houbara bustards, passerines, flamingos, pelicans, cranes and turtle doves.
They stay temporarily, mainly in Al Hair in Riyadh, Al Asfar Lake, Jubail Marine Protected Area, Domat Al Jandal in Al Jouf, Farasan Islands and Wadi Aljizan. They leave at the start of spring.
Hunting regulations are implemented by the SWA in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior. Hunters should also obtain their licenses to hunt and should tell the authorities about the areas of their hunting expedition.
Hunting is banned in protected areas of SWA, the Empty Quarter and in places close to urban settlements.
Hunters are also not allowed to use firearms but can lay traps to catch rabbits. They are also allowed to hunt with hounds and falcons.
According to the Kingdom’s conservation plans, hunters have been advised to refrain from killing endangered species such as the oryx, gazelle, ibex, the Arabian leopard, and the ostrich.