ISLAMABAD: Wildlife officials set free two rose-ringed parakeets after confiscating them from Sunday Bazaar.

Illegal traders were selling the pair for nearly Rs3,000 when the team from Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) raided the weekly bazaar.

IWMB field officer Zaheer Khan told Dawn that rose-ringed parakeets can be found in the forest around nurseries in H-9.

“They can also be found in H-8 and H-11 graveyards and the Shakarparian forests that are their breeding grounds,” he added.

Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Ordinance 1979 prohibits capturing and trading in protected birds and animals, including the rose-ringed parakeet.

“Its population in Islamabad is dwindling,” the official said, adding the pair of green parrots was released in the small forested area adjacent to the nurseries.”

The IWMB said Alexandrian parrots had become extremely rare in the capital.

“Alexandrian parrots thrived and flourished in the Margalla Hills. But this talking bird can rarely be found now. We confiscated three Alexandrian parrots over a year ago which were being sold for Rs75,000 each,” said Mr Khan.

An official in the Ministry of Climate Change said Alexandrian parrots can be found on sale online.

“In fact, quite a few species of parrots can be purchased online from websites. The government needs to ban and block any website that advertises illegal trade of birds and animals. A lot of exotic species of birds from other countries can also be found on sale at online platforms anywhere from Rs1,200 to Rs70,000 and even higher,” the official said.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2020