Amur falcons, world’s longest flying migratory birds, begin to arrive in Manipur

BySobhapati Samom
Oct 29, 2022 12:38 PM IST

With the arrival of Amur falcons in Manipur, the Tamenglong district administration has ordered a ban on all air guns and directed to deposit them with the respective village authorities’ office

Amur falcons, the world’s longest travelling raptors, began to arrive in Manipur’s Tamenglong district as part of its annual routine migration, officials said on Saturday.

Amur falcons undertake a yearly journey of about 20,000 km. (Sourced)
Amur falcons undertake a yearly journey of about 20,000 km. (Sourced)

Confirming the arrival of the Amur falcon (Falcon amurensis) in the western district of the state,divisional forest officer (DFO) Amandeep of Tamenglong Forest Division said, “With the arrival of the Amur falcons in the first week of October, the department has taken up regular checking and awareness programmes have been started besides organising joint patrolling in the district.”

The DFO also said that the deputy commissioner of Tamenglong district has also been requested to take up necessary steps to prevent hunting of Amur falcons.

Subsequently, the forest authority is also planning to organise an Amur falcons festival next month as part of its continuous conservation initiatives, the officer said when contacted on phone.

The migration of Amur falcons, which are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and included under Schedule IV, usually arrive in many parts of north east India, including Tamenglong district, from second week of October and is likely to roost till the end of November.

DC Tamenglong also ordered a ban on all the air guns in the district and directed to deposit the air guns with the respective village authorities’ office.

DC Senapati district in its order on Friday also banned “hunting, catching, killing and selling migratory birds(including Amur falcon)by anyone in the district with immediate effect.”

The report of sighing Amur falcon in Tamenglong town,150 km west of Imphal, was first conveyed by a resident on October 13 this year.Later, locals shared the information of arriving the birds in big numbers at Chiuluan Barak roosting area in the district on October 20.

In 2019, a five-member Wildlife Institute of India team led by Dr Suresh Kumar radio-tagged five Amur falcons, including two males, at Puching village and other Tamenglong areas in Manipur with the support of the state forest department, district administration, Rainforest Club, Tamenglong and locals.

The radio-tagging programme of Amur falcons started in Manipur in 2018 as part of an initiative to conserve wildlife and also to study the route of these long-distance migratory birds and the environmental patterns along the route as India is a signatory to an international agreement on conservation of migratory birds of prey.

Amur falcons, which migrate to their wintering grounds in South Africa, usually arrived in large numbers during October in Nagaland and Manipur besides other places in northeast, undertaking a yearly journey of about 20,000 km. They leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight to Africa where they spend their winters.

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