WTI lauds ‘Saviors of Amur Falcons’
Dimapur, November 7
Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has congratulated the ‘saviors of Amur falcons’- Pangti villagers of Nagaland for receiving the Balipara Foundation Annual Award and the recent RBS Conservation Award.
The Balipara Foundation Annual Award is an inter-disciplinary annual award presented to a government or non- governmental organization whose contribution to conservation of wildlife has gone beyond the call of duty and which has achieved success in the area of nature conservation.Vivek Menon, Executive Director and CEO, WTI who was present at the award function said, “My heartfelt congratulations to the Pangti villagers for receiving two prestigious awards, which are recognition to the villagers of Pangti for their commendable effort to save and protect their annual guests, the beautiful Amur falcons.”
Wildlife Trust of India is one of the premier conservation NGOs in India that jointly with the Nagaland Forest Department is supporting the villagers to save these birds during their transit via Nagaland. Not a single bird was killed since last year due to conservation efforts put in by various NGOs working in the falcon capital of the world.
In 2013, an MoU was signed and a subsequent resolution passed by the village councils of Pangti, Ashaa and Sungro, making hunting Amur falcons illegal and punishable, which helped in reaching a zero mortality rate in Doyang, by the end of the birds’ roosting period.
Jagdish Kishwan, Chief Advisor to CEO-WTI and Principal Investigator of Nagaland Conservation Project of WTI said, “It gives us immense pleasure to see that in the last two years continuous effort towards conserving Amur falcons by the villagers has been appreciated. The conservation journey that Pangti villagers started with WTI is now bearing its fruit. Our joint efforts will go a long way in seeing the visiting raptros flying free in the skies of Nagaland.”’
In 2012, reports from Conservation India highlighted that majority of the birds were being hunted, prompting a Rapid Action Project (RAP) to protect the birds by WTI and Natural Nagas with the assistance of the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Govt. of Nagaland supported by Charities Aid Foundation- India (CAF-India). An awareness campaign was initiated to gain the local community’s support and also sensitize them on the need to conserve the visiting guests.
Awareness meetings conducted in different parts of Wokha emphasised the ecological and ethical importance of the Amur falcons and urged villagers to ensure safe passage of these migratory birds.
The local community including the village council heads and local forest department authorities enthusiastically participated in this campaign demonstrating their support to the cause. Local churches also played a key role in spreading the message of compassion for Amur falcon, and thus motivating the community to come forward to protect the falcons during their roosting period in Nagaland.