A huge group of Amur Falcons are heading towards Manipur’s Tamenglong district, bordering Nagaland, as bird watchers await the arrival of the migratory birds impatiently.
The group of migratory birds will remain in Manipur and Nagaland till the end of November and fly back to Africa in a non-stop flight covering over 20,000 km, said a forest department official.
It is feared that the Amur Falcons will fall victim to professional bird catchers.
Till recently, Amur Falcons were sold openly as roasted and curried in some village markets in the Tamenglong district. Trussed live birds were also on sale.
Five amur falcons had GPS devices attached to them in October 2019 by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun representatives who had been to Manipur. Sadly, one of them was reportedly shot and killed in the area. Two more were untraceable. It was feared that they, too, had perished. Two GPS-tagged Amur falcons with the nicknames Chiulon and Irang, according to officials, were traced in China.
The number of amur falcons in Manipur and Nagaland typically increases to over lakh by the time they are prepared to fly back at the end of November to their habitat in Africa. Tribal elders in the Tamenglong district had persuaded young people with single-barrel weapons and slingshots and professional bird catchers not to murder these avian buddies.
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