Radio tagged Amur Falcons returned back to Manipur

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Image Credit: MoEF&CC

NET News Desk

The radio-tagged Amur Falcons (Falco amurensis), namely Chiulon and Irang have arrived in Manipur on Monday. Completing one complete cycle of migration journey in 361 days, they have arrived in Manipur on 25 and 26 October respectively. The falcons have returned back to the state after completing its migratory route full circle & covering 29,000 km.

Confirming this in a Facebook post, Tamenglong forest division wrote, “Chiulon and Irang are completing one complete cycle of migration journey in 361 days. They have arrived in Manipur on 26/10/2020 and 25/10/2020 respectively. It is a rejoicing moment for the people of Tamenglong District. Let us pray that they are safe and continue to migrate further for many cycles.”

The official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change stated:

“A milestone has been achieved in the conservation efforts of birds, as an #Amur named Irang, tagged in #Manipur has returned back to the state after completing its migratory route full circle & covering 29,000 km. Another Amur named Chiulan has also arrived in the state yesterday.”

“The people of #Manipur particularly in Tamenglong district where the 2 Amurs were tagged in Nov 2019 had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the tagged #Amurs and this has now come true,” it added.

Amur Falcons are known for flying long distances at one go. They are known to spend their summers in their breeding grounds in northern China. And migrate to South Africa during winters. Enroute to their wintering grounds, these birds enter the Northeastern states in October. They leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight to Africa where they spend their winters.

As per reports, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientists in collaboration with the Manipur Forest Department initiated an effort to study the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route.

Amur Falcons are locally known as ‘Akhoipuina’. The radio tagging programme started in Manipur in 2018, by the forest department in collaboration with WII as part of a project to study the flight route of these long distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route since India is a signatory to an international agreement to conserve migratory birds of prey.

Chiulon and Irang along with five other falcons were tagged with satellite transmitters. The five radio-tagged pigeon-sized migratory birds were named ‘Chiulon’, ‘Puching’ and ‘Phalong’ (all names of villages in Manipur), ‘Irang’ and ‘Barak’ (both names of rivers of Manipur). While Chiulon and Irang could be traced, the details of other birds are not available.

It needs to be mentioned here that Manipur has been making an effort to conserve the migratory birds. Ahead of the proposed plan of radio-tagging of Amur Falcons for scientific studies, the Manipur Forest department in collaboration with local clubs and villagers has organized an awareness campaign for protecting the winged guests.

As soon as the Chiulon and Irang were traced a combined team of Staff of Tamenglong Forest Division and Puching Village Volunteers has been patrolling the roosting site of Amur  Falcons in the adjoining areas of Puching Village and Rangkhong village along Irang River to welcome and safeguard their arrival on 25/10/2020.

The north-eastern states of Nagaland and Manipur become an internationally important stop-over site for at least a million Amur Falcons annually.

Now that the birds have returned back, people in Manipur are rejoicing the moment and are praying for their safety as they continue to migrate further for many circles.

Image Credit: Tamenglong Forest Division, Tamenglong
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