Thousands of Amur falcons return to Nagaland
Dimapur, Oct. 24 (EMN): Since the first sighting of around 500 Amur falcon in Pangti village on October 8, the number of the “winged guest” at the roosting site is said to have increased to around 50, 000-60,000 in the third week of October.
The majestic raptors migrate from breeding grounds in eastern Asia to wintering grounds in southern Africa and roost in Nagaland every year in the month of October before leaving on a long journey to the warmer climates of South Africa.
The advisor of Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union (AFRAU), Thungbemo, told Eastern Mirror that the migratory bird has started arriving at the roosting site in Pangti village in batches like in the past and it will continue till the second week of November.
He said that they can’t say if the number of Amur falcon arriving at the roosting site has increased or decreased as it usually arrives till mid November.
However, he informed that tourists, mostly locals, from neighbouring states of Northeast and other parts of India, have started coming to watch the majestic bird since it was reopened to tourists in October.
The AFRAU had earlier informed that it had decided to reopen the Amur falcon roosting site for tourists from October 2021 after remaining shut for two years over the government’s failure to improve infrastructure in Pangti village. Travel restrictions in view of Covid-19 pandemic also badly affected tourism last year.
It also informed that hunting materials, crackers and littering of single-use plastics are strictly prohibited within the demarcated area and vehicle movement between Raphapen and roosting area will be strictly restricted from 4 pm to 5 am.
It can be recalled that the saga of the last surviving radio-tagged Amur falcon named “Longleng” from Nagaland came to an end last year after providing new insights into the ecology of the majestic raptors, particularly during its short stay in the state and subsequent traverse across India, for four years.
Dr. Suresh Kumar, a scientist at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, had earlier told Eastern Mirror that “Longleng” last transmitted signal from Hariatu Sumu area in inner Mongolia in September-October last year but it still holds the “world record” of providing nearly 10200 data of locations and clocking 1,50,000 km approximately in a close to four years of tracking.
He also had told this newspaper that at least 10 more Amur falcons were proposed to be radio-tagged again from Nagaland and Manipur in future.
Radio-tagging of migratory bird began in Nagaland in 2013 after three raptors named “Naga”, “Pangti” and “Wokha” were fitted with satellite transmitters and released in order to monitor their movement for their conservation. Five more namely “Longleng”, “Hakhizhe”, “Intanki”, “Eninum” and “Phom” was radio tagged in 2016.