By: Lamin Hydara & Fabakary B. Ceesay
Complains gathered from some concern Villagers within the Badibous has it that the wild birds inhabiting within their nature are on the brink of extinct due to massive hunting by foreign nationals. The Villagers of Central Badibou laments that foreign nationals mostly Europeans are killing their wild birds in large numbers to the point of almost extinct.
The Villagers of Jammeh Kunda, Salikenni, Mandory complained that each year at this time of the dry season foreign nationals comes to their villages with their local collaborators to hunt down the wild birds, pilled them in sacks and bags and taken away. Others said at times the foreign hunters will spent all day and evening killing doves and water ducks in large numbers.
The concern villagers said anytime they confront the hunters they the hunters will produce a government issued license from the Department of Wild Life given them authority to kill wild birds within that particular environment.
One villager from Salikenni said there is no wild ducks inhabiting their area due to the large scale hunting. He said the foreign hunters has succeeded in exterminating the doves and water ducks within the length breadth of Jammeh Kunda to Njaba kunda adding that the same system is happening in other parts of Badibou as well.
A local hunter from Salikenni also laments the mass killing of birds within their habitat and call on the government to look into the matter very well as the birds are almost extinct. He alleged that at times the foreign hunters filled a pick up vehicle with slaughtered birds. For him and other Villagers these foreign hunters are commercially benefiting from the hunting and that it has become their trade.
For the Villagers the massive slaughter of birds cannot be for private purposes but instead commercial. They added that if the government does not put a stop to this massive hunting by foreign nationals in five years to come water ducks and doves will be completely extinct within Badibou.
However, the North Bank Region Wildlife Officer Mr. Fabala Kinteh agreed that his department do issued license to foreign hunters to hunt specific birds that are threats and menace to crops and other farm produces during planting, seedling and harvesting season. Mr. Kinteh stated that the weaver birds, doves and ducks are threats to farm produces so they deem it necessary to downsize their numbers so as to reduce the dangers they pose to the crops. He added that the hunters are also given license to kill bush hogs due to their threat to crops.
Mr. Kinteh pointed out that they do received complaint from certified hunters that they face difficulties in hunting within Salikenni and Mandory area as the locals would not allow them to hunt their birds. He calls on the community to allow the hunters help in downsizing the birds and bush hogs to reduce their danger to crops. He added that the foreign hunters only operate within a four month period commencing from January to April. He said is not a continuous but only a four month period exercise.
Concerning the extinct of the ducks and doves as complain by the Badibounkas, Kinteh said his office will look into that claim and if found to be truth they must do something about it immediately. He stated that all the hunters that are certified by his office are allocated with a local hunter who serves as a form of watch out if in case the hunters hunts out of their license’s mandate.