Nagaland : Longest Travelling Raptors, Amur Falcon Arrives At Pangti Village

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Amur Falcons cross all boundaries to reach Pangti Village of Nagaland - its safe haven; Photo Credit : Wikimedia Commons

 

  • NET Web Desk

Amur Falcons, the longest travelling raptors in the world migrating in large flocks crosses boundaries to reach its safe haven and stopover – the Pangti village in Nagaland, popularly known as “Falcon Capital Of The World”.

Recently, the Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union (AFRAU) Pangti village confirmed the arrival of these travelling raptors.

While conducting a social work at the area, the Union reported sighting of more than 500 Amur Falcons hovering in the sky.

A press release from P Thungchumo Shidio, President, AFRAU, informed that viewing from the main watch tower at Tzuza Eryu, the falcons were seen flying in the sky.

“The group of falcons was seen coming to their roosting site during the evening, where large number of falcons could be seen hovering in the sky as the sun began to set,” – stated the press release.

It also states that best time to witness the roosting of Amur Falcons is from October 15-November 20.

The Union further urged state government to repair the stretch commencing from Doyang Dam to Amur Falcon Roosting Area.

It highlighted that specified route is in a pathetic condition, which might prove life risk for visitors arriving into the region from across the globe.

Considered as a great spectacle by wildlife enthusiasts, these birds cover one of the longest migration routes.

These birds are scientifically termed as ‘Falco amurensis’.

Amur Falcon; Source : ebird

Marked under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Amur Falcons breed in Southeast Russia and northern China, thereby migrating to the west through India and across the Arabian Sea to southern Africa where they spend their winters, making a round-trip of at least 20,000 km every year, travelling between their breeding and wintering grounds.

However, the story of transformation of Pangti Village from a hunting ground to the safest location for Amur Falcons is truly inspiring.

A 26-minute documentary named ‘The Pangti Story’ explores the transition of an entire village from slaughtering thousands of these winged visitors to becoming conservationists.

 

Earlier, when thousands of Amur falcons came to roost in Pangti on the way to South Africa, Somalia and Kenya, they were targeted by local hunters.

Over thousands of the raptors were harvested everyday for sale and consumption.

Bano Haralu, managing trustee of Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust; and a group of conservationists and researchers such as Ramki Srinivasan from Conservation India, Shashank Dalvi and Rokohebi Kuotsu, who visited Pangti in October 2012 for documenting the mass hunting, discovered that 12,000 to 14,000 falcons were killed each day.

Captured birds kept under a mosquito net for sale & human consumption; Photo credit : Bano Haralu

Following the revelation, a massive campaign continued across the globe, thereby rising international outcry from several wildlife experts, enthusiasts, and several other stakeholders.

But following all these years, Pangti captured global attention, and here Nagaland is into the list of sites protecting migrating species, which led global experts call Pangti Village as the “Falcon Capital Of The World”.