Ingenious Bird Trapping near Murlen, East Mizoram
In a recent (Jan 11) trip to Murlen National Park in East Mizoram, we (Shashank Dalvi, Atul Jain and I) observed rampant trapping near villages. Villagers had set up several traps. We counted 25+ traps in a 1/2 km stretch along the road and released all trapped birds. A trapped Assam Laughing Thrush (a below-Brahmaputra endemic) first caught our attention. Then we found Flavescent bulbuls, Oriental White-eye and Leaf-birds caught in traps.
It is very unfortunate that there seems no real reason for hunting. Last year, we had seen serious hunting for the pot in Nagaland. Here, villages seem to have enough sources of meat in domestic animals (pig, chicken, etc.) to resort to killing birds for the pot. Probably tradition or just a pastime. Does it make it easier to control or more difficult?