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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Amur Falcon’s famed roosting site in Nagaland declared a temporary silent zone

Ornithologists describe the yearly Pangti spectacle as “by far the largest and most spectacular roost of any species of Falcon ever seen anywhere in the world”. It has earned Nagaland the moniker--the falcon capital of the world.

environment Updated: Oct 20, 2019 22:01 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
More than a million of Amur falcons raptors stopover in Pangti village, Nagaland for two months.
More than a million of Amur falcons raptors stopover in Pangti village, Nagaland for two months.(Sourced Photo)
         

Wokha district in Nagaland has declared a three-km area, a silent zone to ensure safe passage for the famed migratory visitors – the Amur Falcons—about a million of these raptors stopover in Pangti village for two months during their over 22,000-km-long yearly flights between Russia, China and Africa.

“We have issued an order declaring a silent zone because we feel that these birds should not be disturbed when they come to roost,” Manazir Jeelani Samoon, Deputy Commissioner of Wokha said on Sunday, explaining the October 17 order prohibiting any activity for the month of October and November which may disturb the Amur Falcons.

Locals often organize picnics or concerts in festive months which may disturb the roosting birds that arrive in droves from their summer-breeding grounds in southeast Russia and northeast China at the Doyang reservoir in Pangti in Nagaland and a few other places in the northeast in October and leave in November after stocking enough food for their non-stop flight to southern Africa, their wintering ground.

Ornithologists describe the yearly Pangti spectacle as “by far the largest and most spectacular roost of any species of Falcon ever seen anywhere in the world”. It has earned Nagaland the moniker--the falcon capital of the world.

In 2018, a community-led conservative effort was started to protect the falcons which were once hunted in thousands by the locals.

Bano Haralu, at the forefront of Amur Falcon conservation efforts, called the order a welcome move.

Earlier this month, neighbouring Manipur’s Tamenglong district banned all air guns and directed residents to deposit them to the village authorities to protect the Amur Falcons.