By Waleed Khan 
An Arab dignitary is setting a Houbara bird free in the Cholistan Desert.
International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) has freed 500 Houbara bustards gifted by Abu Dhabi.
Every year several royal family members from Abu Dhabi and other Gulf countries come to Pakistan for hunting Houbara bustards.
Houbara bustards is a rare bird and there is a ban on hunting these birds, but the rules are bent for the Arab royal families and special permission is given to them for hunting the bird.
300 Houbara birds have also been set free in the National Park, Bahawalpur.
Before these precious birds are flown to Pakistan from Abu Dhabi, they are given a thorough fitness check and a certificate is issued.
According to IFHC, 300 Houbara bustards were freed in the Cholistan Desert while 200 were freed in National Park, Bahawalpur. In total, 1050 Houbara birds are being set free. Houbara International Pakistan says these Houbaras are being freed for breeding, as they have similar breed as birds found in Pakistan.
Houbara is a rare species but Arab Royal families are given special permits for hunting every year.
According to a recently released report of IFHC, Houbara Breeding Centers have provided more than 50,000 Houbara birds to different countries. In order to breed the bird, the birds are being freed not only in Pakistan but other countries as well.
The report further reveals that 206,000 Houbara’s have been bred since the start of this program, while 137,831 birds have been freed into a natural forest environment. These birds are tagged with various colors and some are even fitted with Satellite Transmitters so that scientists could analyze and monitor their movement, residence, their preference and capacity to breed.
These Houbara birds are set to free in the Cholistan Desert.
After setting Houbara free their data is checked through the transmitter after every 15 days. The data of their movement is sent to Houbara Foundation International Pakistan, to be used for research.
Waleed Khan is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Rahim Yar Khan.
Translated by Aneela Riazuddin