12 december 2017

Central Asia news

President of Uzbekistan ordered all Afghani starlings exterminated

03.07.2007 16:06 msk

Ferghana.Ru news agency

Ferghana Valley Uzbekistan

Touring the regions, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov never misses a chance to give instructions and issue orders to the local authorities and citizenry. One of the orders given on the latest tour specified extermination of Afghani starlings.

As far as Karimov is concerned, starlings damage environment "and do not avail it anything."

Sources tell Ferghana.Ru that regional police stations set up special divisions to deal with starlings.

Uzbek ornithologists do not care one way or the other. They say that the president was absolutely correct to order a campaign against starlings since it will only benefit the local fauna.

Expert Ibragim Salihov says starlings were brought to Uzbekistan from Afghanistan in the 1950's. "They rid cattle of pests, you know," Salihov said. "The Academy of Sciences of the USSR therefore decided to import starlings from Afghanistan."

It turned out later that Afghani starlings attack other birds (like sparrows) with no less zest. "Sparrows are rare in Uzbekistan nowadays, due to these starlings. In the meantime, sparrows are much better for the fauna than starlings will ever be," Salihov said.