Villagers Arrested for Catching Over 20,000 Birds Using MP3 Music

By | Jun 07, 2014 04:37 AM EDT

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Pexia, Jiangsu province policemen have arrested at least nine people for illegally luring and catching more than 20,000 birds using courtship sounds played through MP3 players, China's Global Times reported.

More arrests are underway as the police launched a massive operation against those involved in the illegal luring and catching of wild waterfowls called moorhens. Moorhens are in-demand birds due to its scientific research values.

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An expert, Liu Chanmin, at the College of Life Science of Jiangsu Normal University, said the loss of more than 20,000 moorhens in Pexia could threaten the ecology of the local environment.

Peixian police officer Wang Qinfei said the nine villagers, who were arrested since the police operation was launched last week, were found in possession of 700 wild waterfowls that were caged and were about to be sold in Guangzhou.

Wang said the arrest resulted to the discovery of the modus operandi of the moorhens catchers. He said one of the suspects, surnamed Zhang, attracted moorhens in the wild by playing the courtship sounds of moorhens through a loudspeaker.

Zhang reportedly downloaded the bird sound into his MP3 player and then played it using a loudspeaker in order to attract the birds.

Investigation showed that Zhang alone had already sold more than 20,000 moorhens and profited up to 30,000 yuan (about US$4,803) for the illegal activity.

Aside from moorhens, the illegal activity, which spanned three months, also caught wild chickens, owls, herons, and other species of birds as the suspects also used other bird courtship sounds to easily catch the birds.

The illegal activity was often done in Weishan Lake, the police said.

Last February, a court in Pudong New Area has sentenced to seven months in prison a wildlife poacher who used poison to catch several protected species of wild birds.

The convict, surnamed Qiang, reportedly caught birds from 4 December to 6 December 2012 in a reed marsh that is part of a wildlife preserve. By poisoning the water of the marsh, Qiang was able to catch two mallards, two gadwalls, seven common teals and several spot-billed ducks.

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