CHENNAI, JAN. 16 . Poaching of migratory birds at Chembarampakkam Lake, which is on the city's western suburbs, has come to light.
The founder of the Trust for Restoration of Ecology and Environment, T.Murugavel, said he and a few friends had gone there on Saturday to watch birds that congregate there. The lake is one of the important habitats for migratory birds and duck species that visit the place between November and February.
Eurasian Wigeons, spot-billed and pintail ducks, open-billed storks, large, medium and little egrets, dab chicks are some of them, says Mr. Murugavel.
Around noon, when the group was walking along the bund they saw a man with a gun in the tank. To save the birds, they attempted to shoo them away by clapping their hands, but before that the man opened fire.
He, however, fled the scene sighting the group. Mr. Murugavel said he also intercepted two persons carrying a gunny bag who denied they had come to the place for hunting. However, the group noticed pellets in the bag.
At least 5,000 migratory birds can be sighted at the lake, Mr Murugavel said. The Wildlife Warden, Chennai, K.S.S.V.P.Reddy, said that on receiving the complaint, a team was sent t to nab the poachers but could not find any of them there.
The team would keep a tab on the lake to check poaching, he said.
Wildlife authorities are visiting Saidapet, Porur and Avadi markets, where during weekends, poached birds are sold. For far flung areas such as Chembarampakkam, a team would be sent only when complaints are received.
Local residents can contact the Wildlife Warden's office at the DMS Compound, Teynampet, on tel no: 24321471 or the Headquarters at Velachery on 22200335.