Ahead of Amur falcons’ roosting season, Manipur district bans air guns for birds’ safe passage
The Deputy Commissioner of Tamenglong has ordered that air guns deposited with 36 village authorities “until the last flock leave their roosting or till November 30, 2019” and report of collection of air guns be submitted to his office by October 25.Updated: Oct 06, 2019, 09:52 IST
The district authority in Manipur’s Tamenglong has ordered immediate ban on all air guns and directed residents to deposit them to the village authorities to give safe passage to Amur falcons (Falcon amurensis) during their migration period in the district.
The order issued by deputy commissioner Armstrong Pame of Tamenglong district in Manipur came into effect from Saturday.
Amur falcons travel thousands of kilometres and usually arrive in many parts of Northeast India including Tamenglong district from October first week and roost till the end of November.
The order said,“…this period is considered crucial in the life cycle of Amur falcons, I, the undersigned District Magistrate, Tamenglong hereby orders ban on all the air guns in the district and they should be deposited with the respective village authorities office.”
It also asked to keep the air guns deposited under the custody of 36 village authorities including the Tamenglong town “until the last flock leave their roosting or till November 30, 2019” and report of collection of air guns be submitted to Deputy Commissioner’s office by October 25.
Informing that hunting/killing/destruction of wildlife(including migratory birds Amur falcons locally known as Akhuaipuina in any way for food or possession or otherwise is punishable under Wildlife Protection Act 1972,it said anyone found willfully violating the prohibitory orders is liable to face consequences as per law of the land.
The Amur falcons, a pigeon-sized migratory birds spend their summers at their breeding grounds in southeast Russia and northeast China. They migrate to their wintering grounds in South Africa, from where they start their return journey in April-May through Afghanistan and East Asia, undertaking a yearly journey of about 20,000 km.
These birds arrive in large numbers during October in Nagaland and Manipur besides a few places in Northeast India. They leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight to Africa where they spend their winters.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientists in collaboration with Manipur Forest Department are planning to tag five Amur Falcons with satellite radio transmitters this month after the December incident of losing contact with a satellite-tagged female Amur Falcon which was last located in Zambia.
A team from WII will be visiting Manipur this month, said Dr Suresh Kumar, a scientist from the institute who had tagged 10 falcons since 2013.
Two falcons - Tamenglong, a female and Manipur, a male - were satellite radio tagged on November 4, 2018, as part of one of the projects to study the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route.
But Manipur was found dead four days later at Keibu Ching area in Manipur’s Tamenglong district.
Tamenglong started her journey on November 9 and reached Somalia after a non-stop five days flight covering thousands of kilometres in the third week of November last year. But unfortunately contact with the bird was lost after it arrived in Zambia on December 14, 2018.