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Cholistan gets 500 houbara bustards

Bahawalpur: Abu Dhabi has gifted 500 houbara bustards to Pakistan for breeding and rehabilitation purposes on Thursday, which are being released in Cholistan, 200 in Bahawalpur and 300 in Rahim Yar Khan.

The birds were widely hunted in Pakistan and their population has decreased horrifically in Pakistan. Their hunting is also banned to save them from extinction.

Houbara bustards were jointly released by International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), Abu Dhabi, and Punjab Wildlife Department, Pakistan at the Sheikh Muhammad Bin Deer Breeding and Houbara Research Center at Lal Sohanra National Park.

The birds were released in Bahawalpur by Commissioner Saqib Zafar, General Muhammad Saleh Hussain Al-Baidini, acting head of Houbara Foundation, President Brig Mukhtar Ahmed, Houbara Foundation International (Pakistan) and others.

Officials also claimed that some Gulf countries have promised to donate more birds and deer for Lal Sohanra National Park for their breeding and rehabilitation.

More birds from Abu Dhabi would also be released in Bahawalpur under a contract signed by the authorities in Gulf states and Pakistan.

It is also said that birds signed with Abu Dhabi had nothing to do with the hunting of the houbara by members of Gulf Royalty in certain areas of Pakistan.

IFHC has released almost 1,000 houbara in Pakistan this year. In 2015 about 600 houbara were released, while 200 more were also released in Feb 2016.