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Manipur's Seasonal Visitors: The Amur Falcons

05 Nov,2022 02:34 PM, by: Ashif Shamim
2 minute read Total views: 517
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Brief overview

The small-sized Amur falcon, a member of the falcon family, breeds in Siberia and northern China but annually migrates to the warmer environment of southern Africa via India. One of the largest bird migrations in the world, the yearly migration of the Amur falcon, has begun. The northeastern region of India, particularly Nagaland, Manipur, and Assam, will allows visitors to see this breathtaking sight.

The Amur Falcon, considered to be the world's longest-traveling bird, is said to have made its way to Manipur's Tamenglong district after spending months at their summer breeding locations in southeast Russia and northeast China. The Wildlife division officials of the Forest Department and wildlife enthusiasts on October 24 stated that these migratory birds were to stay in Manipur and some parts of Nagaland till the end of November.

What makes this migration significant?

The vast flocks of Amur Falcons, scientifically called "Falco amurensis," are considered by wildlife enthusiasts as a magnificent spectacle. These birds have been marked in accordance with the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, covering one of the longest migration routes.

It is nothing short of a sight when the migratory Amur falcons arrive in Manipur's Tamenglong region for their yearly stopover. We frequently use the phrase "spotting" while describing wildlife. "Spotting" is a relatively small word when referring about the arrival of Amur falcons. With millions of birds in the sky, every tree, electric pole, wire, fence, bush, and house they settle on become darker. The majority of birding aficionados get overwhelmed with enthusiasm when they witness an event like this. However, these birds don't linger for very long. Up until the middle of November, people can witness this sight. As they begin their gradual trek to Africa by the end of November, their numbers decrease. 

India's largest roosting area is in Nagaland. These birds gather in big groups to roost in Pangti village in Wokha, Nagaland; the location is suitably dubbed Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union. Pangti Village is also known as the Amur Falcon Capital.

These falcons are known as ‘”Akhuaipuina” in Tamenglong, Manipur. The forest department and regional wildlife NGOs are working hard to provide these birds with a secure roosting location while they are in the region. Because some of the birds had geotags, the researchers were able to find them and keep close tabs on their whereabouts.

Manipur: The upcoming Hotspot of Amur Conservation in Northeast

Mass awareness events like the Amur Falcon Festival are organised at the district headquarters to spread the word about the need to protect these birds. In the villages, there were also small-scale awareness initiatives organised ocassionally. By using them as protection volunteers at the Amur roosting locations during the migratory season, recently an effort was made to integrate the local youngsters in the conservation project.

The roosting locations are now turned into tourist attractions. Along with this, Infrastructure development was also prioritised by the administration in an effort to get tourists to the region to witness the swarms of Amur falcons.

This finally resulted in a drastic decrease in Amur hunting incidents in the district as a result of the administration's various departments' persistent and coordinated efforts. Both fresh and dried Amur falcons are no longer offered for sale in the neighbourhood markets.

It appears that the Amurs are receiving more affection and attention every year

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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