QUETTA: As temperatures begin to drop below freezing point in Siberia by the start of next month, an estimated 500,000 to a million Houbara Bustard birds will use Balochistan as a transit route while they migrate to warmer climes in central and south Asia.
As the birds head to Balochistan, so too do royal families from the Gulf countries, who hunt the endangered species. In April this year, officials revealed that Saudi Prince Fahd bin Sultan and others in his party killed 2,100 birds during a three-week vacation in the Chagai district in January.
Hunting is allowed through falconry in Pakistan but the World Wide Fund for Nature says the royal hunters use firearms that are prohibited by law. “These royal families come here and wreak havoc with the wildlife in Pakistan,” said WWF’s head Yaha Musakhail. He explained that hunting these birds is only allowed in Pakistan whereas the birds are internationally protected.