Imphal: The governments of Nagaland and Manipur are trying their best to conserve the Amur falcon, the world’s longest-flying migratory bird.
These birds fly from Siberia and Northern China to the African continent en route to India’s northeastern states of Assam-Manipur-Nagaland for winter sojourns.
They take a yearly journey of about 20,000 kilometres.
The conservation of Amur falcons and other migratory birds helped promote tourism in the northeastern states as hundreds of tourists assembled along the lakes and water bodies in Wokha, Nagaland, and adjoining districts of Assam and Manipur.
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Nagaland’s hunting community converted from poachers to protectors of the Amur falcon. The annual Amur falcon migration in Nagaland is a spectacle that drives most birding enthusiasts giddy with excitement.
Similarly, for the Manipur government, with an aim to educate the public to protect and conserve the migratory bird “Amur Falcon” locally known as “Akhuaipuina”, the 8th edition of the Amur Falcon Festival was held on Saturday at Tamenglong district bordering Nagaland on the north.
The festival was organized by the Tamenglong Forest Division in collaboration with the Rainforest Club Tamenglong and the Wildlife Trust of India.
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The Manipur Forest Department started a conservation program in 2018 by radio-tagging Amur falcons to study their migratory route. The government banned airguns and hunting the birds. Hunting, catching, killing, and selling the birds are prohibited.
The Amur Falcons breed in South-Eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern and East Africa. After migrating from their breeding ground, they reach North East India through China, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar during October.
They stay in the east States of Manipur, Naga-land, Assam, Meghalaya, etc from the second week to the last week of November. Then, they migrate and spend the cold winter season in the warm area of South Africa and stay there up to March-April.
The first survey for a population of Amur falcons in Manipur was conducted at Tamenglong and the number of roosting is around 1.41,274 birds as per an official report.
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