This was announced today by the head of State hunting and fishing commission Alexander Novikov. The arrest ocurred on the night of 7 September in Tes-Khem district of Tuva during joint activities with the police. As Alexander Novikov told us, 16 red Book balaban falcons were confiscated from the arrested poachers. "The birds are now being examined at the Stae commission. It has to be confirmed that they belong to a rare species, - Novikov said. - Afterwards the birds will be released again." According to preliminary data, two of the suspects are citizens of Kyzyl. The police is now investigating the situation.
Balaban falcons are listed in Russian Red Book and are considered to be among disappearing species of birds. According to the law enforcement organs, one of these falcons trained to hunt can be worth up to $100,000 on the black market.
Some of the birds were so exhausted by the unendurable conditions that even when free could not take off and died.
According to specialists, the numbers of these bird species which live in Siberian steppes have been dropping noticeably during the past few years. Experts believe that activities of criminals capturing the birds for export is among the main causes.