Running the extra mile for Amur Falcons
WOKHA, OCTOBER 19
PANGTI village was on Saturday the scene of a marathon that was organized as part of an awareness campaign to preserve and protect the migrating Amur falcons. Named “Save Amur Falcon Marathon,” the marathon was held in Pangti village, under Wokha district, and organized by the Forest division of Wokha and the Pangti Village Students’ Union (PVSU).The marathon was flagged off by District Forest Officer of Wokha Supongnukshi Ao. ‘The pain of a short distance Marathon would make us realise the conservation significance of 22,000 kilometres marathon migrant, the Amur Falcon,’ he said while addressing the village’s citizens that had gathered for the event. The marathon was set in categories. For the ‘senior’ category, the track length was 6.5 kilometres; for the ‘ladies’ and ‘juniors’ categories, the track length was 5 kilometres. The track consisted of criss-cross lanes of Pangti and Sungro villages to ‘maximise the awareness effect.’ 180 enthusiastic participants belonging to all age groups joined the race, it was informed. Mhono Odyuo, 40 years old, was the oldest participant in the event and commendably won a consolation prize.
Senchumo Ngullie won the marathon. Zubenthung Shitiri and Nchumbemo Shitiri stood first and second runners-up in that order in the ‘senior’ category. In the ‘junior’ category, Vanthungo Shitiri won the marathon while Phyobemo Shitiri and Lanbenthung Shitiri stood first and second runners-up in that order.
From the ‘ladies’ category, Lothungbeni Shitiri won the marathon while Mhonchoni Odyuo and Rabeni Yanthan stood first and second runners-up in that order. There were ten consolation prizes in each category.
T-shirts made from recycled materials and showing relevant environmental slogans were also given to all the participants. The shirts were sponsored by the Nagaland State Pollution Control Board.
The marathon is one of the events organized as part of a series of campaigns that include school and church programmes, signature campaigns, community programmes such as seminars and movie screening about wildlife, among others. As a result of continuous efforts for awareness by the Forest department and NGOs combined with the effective day and night patrolling, camping and surprise checks by the Forest Protection Force, no instance of hunting has been reported as yet.
The marathon was organised for the purpose of conserving the Amur Falcon. “Being the first of its kind this year, it was limited to Sungro Range, but after seeing the success of the event, PVSU is of the opinion that it should be made an annual district level or even a state level event for the greater cause of conservation,” said PVSU president Mathew Jami.
‘The real credit for the conservation of the Amur Falcon goes to the villagers who by abstaining from the age-old tradition of hunting and life-sustaining economic gains contributed to conservation more than anybody else. The government should urgently acknowledge the sacrifices made by the people and in return address the livelihood issues of the people’, he said.