Manipur’s Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbow Newmai said that the successful return of the two satellite-tagged Amur Falcons – Irang and Chiuluan have put Manipur in the global map of wildlife conservation efforts.
Addressing mediapersons on November 3, Newmai said that it is a proud moment for the Forest Department and State that the Amur Falcons have returned back after completing its marathon journey to its roosting site in Puching village in Tamenglong district, where the birds were tagged with satellite transmitters and released last year.
Stating that Manipur has set a successful example in the global conservation map, he said the State has shown the effort to protect and provide safe bases to the migratory bird Amur Falcons.
The Minister credited the NGOs including Rainforest Club Tamenglong, local people, district administration and media for their involvement in raising awareness regarding protection and conservation of the Amur Falcons.
He said that the success story of the satellite tagging of the Amur Falcons have ignited hope that the other wildlife projects like Hornbill project, Tiger project among others can also be successful. He assured that more conservation efforts will be carried out for the migratory birds and other endangered animals in the State.
Seeking support from the public, he said without the cooperation from all the stakeholders the conservation efforts of the department will not be successful. Giving credit to the general public, all the stakeholders and media, he said that the number of migratory birds visiting the Loktak Lake has increased this year following awareness among the general public.
Dr. AK Joshi, Principal Chief Conservation of Forest, Wildlife said the Forest Department began the work on conservation of the Amur Falcons in Manipur in 2015, whereas in Nagaland it was started in 2012 after a uproar following hunting of large number of the birds.
He said the Amur Falcon is protected under both the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and is included in the Schedule IV of the Act and India is a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), it is mandatory to provide them safe passage and ensure their protection and conservation during their migration.
He said the satellite tagging of the birds started in 2018 in Manipur, whereas in Nagaland it started in 2013.
It is worth mentioning that the Amur Falcons weighing on average 170 grams are long-distance migratory birds and arrives in North East India mainly in Manipur and Nagaland on their south-bound migration during October from their breeding grounds in Northern China, Eastern Mongolia and far East Russia en-route to their wintering grounds in South Africa.
The one-way journey from their breeding to wintering grounds via India is about 20,000 kms and the birds do this twice a year.