Protected song birds seized

RATCHABURI ― Police and forestry officials on Thursday seized more than 60 protected wild birds in the possession of two men in Pak Tho district and arrested one of them in a sting operation.

The officials were acting on a tip-off that a house in tambon Yarng Hak owned by Manop Sinpee was a major centre for the illegal breeding and sale of protected birds, mostly the red-whiskered bulbul (pycnonotus jocosus). 

An undercover policeman who posed as a buyer met Mr Manop at his home in the afternoon to buy a red-whiskered bulbul from him for 8,000 baht. He saw 14 red-whiskered bulbul, four blossom-headed parakeets and four weavers on the premises along with seven elongated tortoises and two Asian forest tortoises. Other items included bird traps and other equipment.

The undercover policeman paid him the 8,000 baht, but the man fled into the forest after a neighbour telephoned and told him a pickup truck carrying police and forestry officials was heading to his house.

Mr Manop made good his escape, Pol Col Krissana Subdej, deputy chief of Crime Investigation Division Provincial Police Region 7, said.

Authorities later executed a search warrant at a nearby house belonging to Mr Manop’s son, Wasan, and found 40 more red-whiskered bulbuls and a blossom-headed parakeet. 

Police arrested Mr Wasan because he could present only two ownership documents for the birds. 

The red-whiskered bulbul is listed as a protected species under the 1992 Wildlife Preservation and Protection 1992 Act, which requires that bird owners obtain ownership documents for them, and that no birds be taken from the wild.

The red-whiskered bulbul is famous for its voice. Singing competitions for the bulbul are popular in the southern provinces.

Pol Col Krissana said many people who enjoy competing in bird singing contests come to this area of Ratchaburi to buy a red-whiskered bulbul, because it is close to La Au forest, a major habitat for the bird.

Photo by Saichon Srinuanchan

Related search: wild life, conservation, red-whiskered bulbul, illegal trading, Thailand

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Writer: Saichon Srinuanjan