North East

Days after killing of migratory Amur falcon ‘Manipur’, admn ban airguns

New Delhi, November 12: Two days after the migratory Amur falcon ‘Manipur’ tagged with a satellite radio transmitter, was killed, the district administration has banned airguns in Tamenglong and Noney districts of Manipur.
The administrators also issued a strict warning to anyone found killing or causing any harm by use of catapults or any other form of weapon to the protected raptor saying that they will be liable to severe punishment under the relevant laws.
A notification signed by the deputy commissioner of Noney district, Hungyo Worshang stated that the safety of the bird shall be ensured during its stay and their roosting period in the district mainly along the Irang River near Guangram, Puichi, Rangkhung and Taobam villages.
Last week, Amur Falcon ‘Manipur’ was killed in Kebuching area bordering Tamenglong and Noney district, four days after it was released by scientists. The Falcon was one of the two released on November 5 by a group of scientist working on the conservation project of the winged guests to understand the movement of the birds during their migratory stop-over in Tamenglong district.
While the transmitter tagged to ‘Manipur’ was later handed over to the Forest department the identity of those involved in the killing is yet to be established. Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar has assured that those who hunted the bird will not be spared.
A team of officials led by Dr Suresh Kumar of Wildlife Institute of India, Forest Department Tamenglong including DFO Arun RS and Peter, Raptor Biologists from Hungary captured five Amur Falcons at a community forests area of Chiuluan village along the Barak river in Tamenglong district. After an assessment for body and feather condition, two fittest birds out of five were attached with GPS satellite tags and released. The male bird was named ‘Manipur’ while the female was named as ‘Tamenglong’.
As the female falcon is reported to be in the area where ‘Manipur’ was killed, local volunteers on Sunday formed an anti-poaching squad to prevent any further killing of the migratory bird. Officials of the forest department led by Chief Conservator Forest is reportedly camping in Keibuching area to conduct awareness camp.
Amur Falcon locally known as Akhuipuina, 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 which are undertaken twice a year. (Courtesy: IE)