By Hana Namrouqa – Feb 11,2016

AMMAN — The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) seized and confiscated weapons of unlicensed hunters of a Gulf Arab nationality who were allegedly hunting desert birds in the Eastern Badia, a conservationist said Thursday.

RSCN inspectors discovered the three hunters during an inspection patrol on Wednesday in Anga area, south of Rweished, Abdul Razzaq Hmoud, acting director of RSCN’s conservation and hunting regulation section, said.

“The hunters were found in a military zone, east of the Hijaz Railway, which is also an off-limit area,” Hmoud told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Hunting to the east of the Hijaz Railway has been off-limits since a Cabinet decision was issued in 1993, because the border area is home to several rare animals and birds, according to the RSCN.

“Desert areas are fragile; their habitats are easily degraded. If ruined, their rehabilitation is difficult and takes time,” Hmoud noted.

RSCN inspectors seized and confiscated the hunters’ weapons and the killed birds, he added.

“The RSCN handed over the hunters, the weapons and the killed birds to a police station for further legal action,” Hmoud highlighted.

The hunters killed 30 desert birds, the majority of which were larks, he noted.

Hmoud added that the RSCN is carrying out regular inspection campaigns in desert areas to stop illegal hunting, noting that the inspectors were patrolling Mudawarra area in the south of the country on Thursday.

In January, a group of poachers allegedly shot down about a dozen of the Rhim gazelle, an internationally endangered species, in the eastern desert on the Jordanian-Syrian border.

They were arrested and an investigation was initiated into the incident after photos showing them posing behind a line of at least a dozen killed Rhim gazelles and decorating their vehicles, which carried Qatari licence plates, with the bloody carcasses, were widely circulated on social media.
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