Amur Falcons – the longest-traveling raptors in the world have started arriving at Manipur’s Tamenglong district bordering Nagaland.
The Wildlife division officials of the Forest Department and wildlife enthusiasts on October 24 said that these migratory birds were to stay in Manipur and some parts of Nagaland by the end of November. They will fly back to Africa in a non-stop flight covering over 20,000 km.
Unfortunately, many amur falcons will fall victim to armed professional bird catchers. Recently the roasted and curried amur falcons were seen on sale in some village markets in the Tamenglong district. Trussed live birds were also on sale.
The WII Dehradun officials attached GPS monitors to five Amur falcons. Sadly, one of them was shot dead in the district. Two others remained untraceable.
However, officials believed two GPS-tagged amur falcons, nicknamed Chiulon and Irang, were traced in China.
Amur Falcons 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”.
Scientifically termed as ‘Falco amurensis’, the large flocks of Amur Falcons are considered as a great spectacle by wildlife enthusiasts. Covering one of the longest migration routes, these birds have been 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 30,000 km every year, travelling between their breeding and wintering grounds.