MITHI, July 8: Speakers at a dialogue on ‘peacocks mortality and climate change effect on Thar’ have urged the government to take serious measures to protect peafowl from Newcastle disease, which have killed hundreds of birds in the desert over the past couple of years.

The dialogue was organised at the press club on Monday by Friends of Indus Forum in collaboration with the WWF-Pakistan's climate change adoption project of RDF.

The speakers urged the government to form a committee of representatives of the departments concerned, NGOs working on environment and experts to identify causes behind periodic recurrence of the deadly disease among the birds and its suitable solution.

They said the Tharparkar district administration should take urgent steps to save peacocks and protect valuable trees and rare wildlife species. The post of honorary game warden be abolished and a full time gazetted officer be appointed as game warden, they demanded.

They called for strengthening the wildlife department and invited universities and international institutes working on environment, climate change and rare species to conduct research in Thar.They said the wildlife department and other government departments should devise a policy with the cooperation of other stakeholders to save the beautiful bird.

Changes should be made in the Wildlife Act, participation of community people should be ensured and violators of the law should not only be fined but a case should be registered against them and they should be sent to jail, they said.

They called upon the Sindh Assembly to legislate laws recommended by the WWF about conservation and protection of wildlife and urged the federal government to ratify and implement international pacts on biodiversity conservation, UNFCC, POPS and other treaties.