LAHORE: The Government of Pakistan and the government of Abu Dhabi as per the contract have decided to release 1,040 Houbara Bustards into the wild in order to increase the current population of the species in Pakistan.
The birds are imported from Abu Dhabi will be released in the district of Bahawalpur.
According to the Wildlife Protection Department, the first batch of 500 birds reached Pakistan Thursday, March 1. The birds will be transported to Bahawalpur’s Lal Suhanra National Park on Friday, March 2.
The spokesman of Wildlife Protection Department said it will ensure the protection of the released birds. The department’s higher officials said Houbaras are released at the Lal Suhanra National Park each year.
The department assured that the contract to release the birds is not associated with the hunting of the rare and precious bird found in certain parts of Pakistan.
Earlier in February this year, the Punjab Government told the Lahore High Court that the houbara bustard had been removed from the list of protected birds.
The Wildlife Department’s report cited a survey conducted in December that indicated a substantial increase in the bird’s population.
Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard other petitions that challenged the hunting permits issued to members of the Qatari royal family. Shah expressed his concern over the government’s decision to remove the houbara from the list of protected birds. He inquired about the chosen criteria for the survey to gather data about the bird’s population.
The houbara bustard is a rare bird breed, which equals the size of a chicken. Its meat is considered an aphrodisiac. Thousands of houbaras migrate from Central Asia to Pakistan during winters each year.