Just in case you needed another example of the harm that wildlife poaching can do, now we hear that Birds are disappearing from Afghanistan, leaving pests to flourish.
Rahimullah’s frustration came from the awareness that he is fighting a losing battle against the mice and locusts which are destroying his crops. He has tried spraying chemicals, but to little effect.
The real cure is missing – the insectivore bird species which attacked the locusts in flocks, and the birds of prey which kept mouse numbers down. These are disappearing day by day, he said, killed by hunters or caught by trappers who sell them to the burgeoning trade in live birds.
Agriculture officials in Herat province confirm that the hunting and smuggling of birds have contributed to an increase in attacks by locusts and other pests, causing widespread crop destruction. The alternative – chemical pesticides – is both costly and damaging to the environment, they say.