LAKKI MARWAT - Over one hundred precious birds seized by political authorities in the frontier tribal region were released by the wildlife officials in a breeding enclosure near Wanda Cheekari and in natural habitat near Dallokhel and Kalan on Tuesday.

On information Khasadar and levy personnel led by APA Fahad Wazir stopped a man on Adezai check post and seized over one hundred birds from the goods he possessed. The birds included gray and see-see partridges and that they were concealed in plastic bags. The hilly tribal belt of frontier region is famous of wildlife species, especially birds like gray, black, red legged and see-see partridges having abundance of natural habitat and abode for them. Poachers used to visit the tribal area frequently to catch birds with the help of nets and then smuggle them to the down parts of the country.

A gray partridge is sold at Rs 600 to Rs 1000 while the price of black and red-leg partridges is in thousands of rupees. On Tuesday a poacher who was transporting the birds illegally was arrested at Adezai check post and a case was registered against him under relevant section of Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). An official of the political administration said that the seized birds were being smuggled to Punjab via Lakki Marwat district.

The brown partridges though not threatened are declining/reducing in number in Lakki district and adjacent frontier tribal region owing to frequent and unabated practice of hunting with the help of nets. Apart from that shooting has also caused decreasing their number in both settled and tribal areas during the last couple of years.

The wildlife department has foiled several attempts of birds' smuggling from tribal region to Punjab via Lakki Marwat district in the past, claimed an official. He said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wildlife department had also set up a bird enclosure near Wanda Cheekari to breed partridges and other birds and then free them in the natural habitat.

"One of the aims of establishing the enclosure is to educate people to avoid netting or shooting birds rather help the wildlife department to conserve the birds' species", he maintained.

An official of the political administration said that APA Fahad Wazir himself freed several birds in the wildlife enclosure while rest of the birds were handed over the wildlife officials to release them in natural habitat.

Later sub divisional officer wildlife Abdul Rehman along with a social activist Haji Muhibullah Khan Kaka released the birds in the forests on the bank of river Gambila near Dallokhel and Kalan localities.