Bangladesh bans airguns to protect birds

Bird with white belly and brown back
Spoon-billed sandpiper, photo: kajornyot via Canva

Bangladesh banned airguns on Wednesday to stop hunters from killing birds and small animals. “We have declared war against wildlife and wild bird poachers,” forestry department chief Molla Rezaul Karim told news agency AFP.

Karim said air rifles had been responsible for huge numbers of bird deaths in the country. It’s illegal to hunt wildlife in Bangladesh, but police have been unable to stop the illegal wildlife trade, with endangered birds sold openly on the streets of the capital Dhaka.

In rural areas, airguns are used to shoot birds and other animals, including migratory birds who fly from Siberia looking for warmer winter climates.

Bangladesh is home to more than 700 species of wild birds, but hunting, climate change and habitat destruction are killing them. Around a dozen wild birds are close to extinction in the country.

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