Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nagaland awaits Amur falcons from Mongolia

Even as the first flock of Amur falcons from Mongolia have reached Pangti village in Wokha district of Nagaland to mark the advent of another migratory season, the scientific community is eagerly awaiting the arrival of ‘Naga’ and ‘Pangti’ — two Amur falcons which were satellite-tagged in Nagaland last year before the Amur falcons started their journey to South Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and head of Forest Force Nagaland, M. Lokeswara Rao told The Hindu that ‘Naga’ and ‘Pangti’ had been tracked in inner Mongolia on Wednesday and the two satellite tagged birds were expected to arrive in Nagaland anytime in October or early November.

Mr. Rao said the the arrival of ‘Naga’ and ‘Pangti’ would scientifically establish the long migration route of the Amur falcons from Mongolia to South Africa via Nagaland. However, why the Amur falcons skip Nagaland on their return journey from South Africa to Mongolia will still remain a mystery.Satellite-tagged

On November 6, 2013 three Amur falcons — Naga, Pangti and Wokha, named after Nagaland, Pangti village and Wokha district respectively — were satellite-tagged and released in Nagaland’s Doyang forest. They reached South Africa on January 9 after flying over Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Bangladesh, Bay of Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and the Arabian Sea. They started their return journey from South Africa in April third week. However, ‘Wokha’ continued to be tracked in Somalia, which probably meant that either the bird died or its satellite-tracking device got detached from its body, said Mr. Rao.Longest bird migration

Every year, from October to November, a large number of Amur falcons arrive in the northeast, especially in Nagaland for roosting, from Mongolia en route to their final destination — South Africa. The falcons travel up to 22,000 km a year — known to be one of the longest distance migration of birds.

Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust (NWBCT) Managing Trustee Bano Haralu said that the Trust has started conducting nature camps under its ‘Friends of the Amur falcon’ programme for building awareness on conservation of biodiversity among the children and villagers in the areas which the Amur falcons visit for the third consecutive year.

She said that conservation of Amur falcons in Nagaland gained ground from 2012 and in 2013 no killing of the migratory bird was reported. “Nagaland is very rich in biodiversity and when people start understanding the importance of their role in conservation of the ecosystem then conservation efforts such as conservation of Amur falcons start producing positive results,” she added.

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