Edible-nest collectors nabbed with nests

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Three persons who attempted to sell edible-nest swiflets were taken into custody by the Cinnamon Gardens Police last week along with 25 swiftlet nests in their possession believed to be worth around Rs.60,000.

Consignment of nests detected on a previous occasion (File photo)

The suspects were waiting near the Vihara Maha Devi Park for their buyer at the time of the arrest. They confessed the nests were collected from under a bridge in Bandaragama according to Sergeant Sumanasiri who led the raid.

It is reported the swiftlets prefer to make their nests in colonies in dark places like caves and tunnels. They built their nests using small twigs and moss mixing with their saliva.

These nests are a delicacy in East Asian countries and are being illegally exported due to the high demand for them. These nests are used to make a soup by soaking and steaming them and is said to be an aphrodisiac and to have various medicinal qualities.

Environment lawyer Jagath Gunawardena pointed out that destroying these nests, possessing them or attempting to sell them are illegal under the Flora and Fauna Ordinance. Bird experts already warn the collection of these nests can badly affect the bird population in the long run.

Mr.Gunawardena said that only four species of swifts make nests that are edible and nests made by two of these species, including the birds resident in Sri Lanka, are considered to be of high quality. The number of birds who make the best-quality nests inhabiting Malaysia and Thailand are already depleted, creating a higher demand for Sri Lankan birds nests in the market.

On previous occasions, several other consignments of swift nests were seized by the Customs biodiversity protection unit. A recent detection made in August 2009 by Customs officials was of nests weighing as much as 35.5kg. On another occasion, 7,000 processed swift nests were nabbed. In the recent detection one suspect was a motor mechanics while the other two were drivers.

The suspects were produced in courts and released on bail. Cinnamon Gardens police continue investigations.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/100502/News/nws_16.html published on SundayTimes 02.05.2010

One Response to “Edible-nest collectors nabbed with nests”

  1. Many Species. One Planet. ONE FUTURE « Window to Nature Says:

    […] the FUTURE of MANY SPECIES which live in our PLANET. Think of Elephants killed in Africa for ivory, Edible-nest swiftlets for their nests, Sharks for their fins, Conch for their shells, Tigers for their skin, Whales for […]

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