For the last two years, the Amur Falcon conservation efforts in Pangti and Sungro villages in Wokha district of Nagaland have passed off successfully in a remarkable conservation turnaround. A second falcon, Chiuluan, has followed Irang and returned the next day. Satellite-tracked Amur Falcons return successfully to the Tamenglong district in Manipur, leading to further protection and conservation efforts for migratory birds and endangered species alike. In 2012, a Naga conservationist named Bano Haralu, along with several colleagues from Conservation India, confirmed rumors that Amur Falcons had begun to gather each night by the hundreds of thousands in densely packed roosts along the Doyang Reservoir, with many more in neighboring areas—very likely the bulk of the entire global population. In addition, the birds are not connected to specific sites in this part of India but seem to change preferences, most probably depending on the availability of food. The shocking news of mass killing of Amur Falcons – each weighing under 200 gms – in the north eastern State of Nagaland was first revealed in October 2012 by Conservation India. The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), also known as the Bonn Convention, is an environmental treaty of the United Nations that provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory animals and their habitats. In conversation with Vaishnavi Rathore (VR), Sinha speaks of her work as Principal Investigator of the Amur Falcon Project at BNHS. This year, in celebration of World Migratory Bird Day 2020, communities gathered to welcome the Amur Falcons home to Nagaland and in fact many other parts of the adjoining landscape. The next … Cheers! Traditionally, the Naga’s have been hunting all kinds of game and there have been sporadic reports of huge number of such birds being killed from time to time. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. Originating from Mongolia, Northeastern China and the Russian Far East, the birds fly over Asia and the Indian Ocean in order to reach their wintering grounds in Souther Africa (e.g. In the autumn of 2016, five more birds were fitted with satellite tags with the funds provided by the Indian Government. I was so inspired by this story that I … Be there and encourage the local communities in their effort towards conservation. In 2019 five more birds were tagged again in Manipur. On October 31st and November 1st of 2019, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Manipur Forest Department fitted five Amur Falcons with satellite radio transmitters in order to study and track their migratory route. These small raptors of the Falcon family prey on small insects and pests which destroy vegetables and crops. Longleng’s migratory route from Northern China to the East coast of Africa as of 26 August 2020 © Suresh Kumar, The maps of the birds’ subsequent journeys generated excitement and captured the imagination of the local people. In 2012, mass trapping and capture of migrating Amur falcons in Nagaland (India) … Over the three years that the transmitters were working and submitting coordinates, Dr. Kumar kept the media and community leaders informed. The story of the incredible Amur Falcon migration stopover in Nagaland, India, broke to international news in 2012. “They started getting emotionally attached to the birds.”. The sky filled with Amur Falcons congregating in Nagaland © Nick P. Williams. Single-stage guided suborbital launch vehicle. “How do you expect to tell this to the local communities who do not know anything beyond their village or beyond that mountain range.”. (+49 228) 815 2449, Review Mechanism & National Legislation Programme, Overseas Territories/Autonomous Regions & Reservations, From Prey to Protected Species: How the Tide Turned for the Amur Falcon. The Amur falcon has a large range with a stable population and is noteworthy for undertaking one of the most arduous annual migrations of any bird of prey. An appreciation letter from the CMS Raptors MoU was presented in November 2015 to Pastor Nuklu Phom, Community leader of the Yaongyimchen village in Longleng district by Dr. V.B. The Amur Falcon dance festivals held in that state are the first of their kind. Migratory Amur Falcons Return to Roost in the Naga Hills Hunting of these raptors have seen a sharp decline in Northeast India due to sustained conservation efforts. In other areas, local people volunteered to patrol known Amur Falcon sites during the birds’ annual visit to protect the species. Three-stage small-launch vehicle, intended for placing payloads into SSO. CMS Office – Abu Dhabi is the only regional hub for the Convention outside its headquarters in Germany and is fully hosted by Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi on behalf of the Government of the United Arab Emirates. © Suresh Kumar. The Abu Dhabi meeting was the starting point of a communication with CMS Office — Abu Dhabi about funding a small expedition to capture several Amur Falcons and fit them with satellite tags later that year in Nagaland. Meanwhile, the project to tag falcons also helped the conservation efforts. Amur Falcon Conservation During the 2012 winter passage migration of Amur Falcons, this team discovered a large-scale slaughter of Amur Falcons near the Doyang Reservoir in Wokha district in Nagaland state, India. The falcons received their names after places and rivers within the Tamenglong district in Manipur: Chiuluan, Puching, Phalong, Irang and Barak. They believed that whenever they arrived in large numbers, it would portend a good harvest. The male of this small falcon is sooty gray with rufous-orange thighs and vent. Sinha raises the importance of passionate, yet respectful conservation practices in India. The Amur Falcon’s arrival has sparked excitement and joy within these communities, who not long ago, were hunting the species. Credit: Lemsachenlok Society. The Amur falcon has become a mascot of conservation for the Nagas. With the beginning of winter Amur Falcons (Falco Amurensis) flock in large numbers across northeast India, which acts as a stop-over ground in the bird’s annual migration path. They discovered a colony impressive in size. Awangbow Newmai, Environment and Climate Change minister stated that: “The successful return of two satellite-tagged Amur Falcons has put Manipur on the global map of wildlife conservation efforts […] the state has shown the effort to protect and provide safe bases to the migratory bird Amur Falcons.”. During the meeting, Dr. Kumar reached out to Nick P. Williams, Head of the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU, an agreement to protect endangered raptors under the auspices of CMS. The Manipur satellite tracking programme of the Amur Falcons started in 2013, and a total of 15 birds have been tagged to this date. Videos. +2. What is more, the Pangti village turned from a terrifying Amur Falcon hunting ground to a safe haven with zero mortality for the bird. For filmmaker Sesino Yhoshu, watching tens and thousands of Amur falcons ( Falco amurensis ) roost by the Doyang reservoir in a remote corner of Nagaland was an awe-inspiring moment. The conservation work was initiated by Sungro Range Youth Welfare Organisation. On 4 November 2013, an expedition comprising of Dr. Kumar, Mr. Williams, two Hungarian experts, and two local forest officers set out to do just that. The festival celebrates Amur Falcons that travel up to 22,000 km per year, and come from South Eastern Siberia and Northern China. (+49 228) 815 2401, Fax. An innovative long-term community outreach campaign has also been initiated that has been received very well locally. The situation also prompted conservation projects,such as the 2015 project funded by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and the satellite tagging project developed by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Manipur Forest Department. It may be mentioned that Amur falcon conservation campaign began following reports of its mass slaughter and subsequent warning served by the state government to the public of Pangti area. He reminded that 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 … The Amur Falcon conservation project was launched in Nagaland in 2013 and extended to Manipur three years later. While talking about the conservation of these magnificent birds (that cover over 22,000 kilometres a year!) The Amur Falcons spend around three to four weeks in India. World Migratory Bird Day Celebrations in Nagaland © Suresh Kumar. Amur Falcons roost on tall trees in Doyang (left). Understanding the Amur Falcon’s migratory routes and engaging local communities to be actively involved in their conservation, are both critical to ensure the long-term survival of this species, especially in the context of climate change and habitat destruction. In Tamenglong district of Manipur, some of the locals believe that these were sacred birds. “With changes in the Earth’s climate affecting rainfall patterns as well as the monsoon, the fate of the Amur Falcon and its future presence in Northeast India cannot be taken for granted”, said Dr. Kumar. BNHS is also supporting natural history outreach and advocacy in Manipur through the Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN). South Africa, Zambia, Botswana). The abundance of termites in September and October makes the area a preferred refueling site for the birds before they continue their flight across the Arabian Sea to the African continent. In September 2013, Dr. Kumar was visiting the UAE capital to discuss another raptor, the Saker Falcon, as part of a global initiative, coordinated by the Abu Dhabi Office of the UN’s Convention on Migratory Species. On 26th of October 2020, Irang has successfully returned to its roosting site in Manipur’s Tamenglong district, after travelling 29,000 kilometres in a marathon journey from its breeding site in China. Amur Falcon conservation campaigns Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) nagaland National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) Northeast India (NE) standing committee NBWL wildlife crime wildlife trade In the years following, the villagers themselves have adopted measures to punish hunting and to protect the birds’ habitat. The story may have started in the Nagaland State of India, where large colonies of the birds were discovered, but it does have a link to the United Arab Emirates, said Dr. Suresh Kumar, one of the key researchers and main champions of the Amur Falcon in India. It was a jaw-dropping tale, with reports of over 100,000 birds seen at a time at the newly created Doyang Reservoir. This site is maintained by the CMS Secretariat © 2020  | DisclaimerCMS Secretariat, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, GermanyTel. Every year hundreds of thousands of Amur Falcons, a small-sized raptor, the size of a pigeon, make the incredible transcontinental journey from their summer breeding grounds in Southeast Russia and Northeast China to their wintering abode in Southern Africa. Courtesy of Manipur Amur Falcon Tracking Project. providing space services to satellites in orbit and future orbital spacecrafts, Amur Falcons: One of the Most Successful Conservation Stories to Date, By continuing to use you will be agreeing to the website,,,,,,,,, Chief Wildlife Warden Dr AK Joshi, who was also present, said conservation of the Amur Falcons not only preserve the natural ecosystem but also benefits the farmers of Tamenglong. The Amur Falcon conservation program is to help stop the killings from 2013 through high-level support, patrolling & enforcement, community engagement and an extensive nature education program. (+49 228) 815 2449, Contact, This site is maintained by the CMS Secretariat © 2020, CMS Secretariat, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany. “The emergence of termites perfectly coincides with the arrival of the falcons, it is all so beautifully interlinked,” said Dr. Kumar. The flocking behaviour during migration and the density at which they occur, however, expose them to hunting and other threats. During their migration from their breeding area to the winter quarters, they are plump and are hunted for food in parts of northeastern India as well as in eastern Africa. Facts and Information about the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Wildlife. It will really aim to showcase wildlife conservation, while at the same time spreading awareness regarding these creatures and the Doyang region. Thus, Nagaland is also known as the “Falcon Capital of the World,”. Two-stage hybrid suborbital launch vehicle. Two-stage supersonic rocket powered by solid rocket motors. The wide breeding range and large population size of the Amur falcon have led to the species being assessed as being of least concern. The combination of reddish-orange eyering, cere, and feet distinguishes them from all other falcons. The kick stage can place the payload in LEO orbit from a wide range of altitude and orbit inclination. Abu Dhabi, 10 November 2020 - In October each year, communities in the mountainous parts of Northeast India, gather in anticipation of the arrival of a small grey bird, the Amur Falcon, which annually migrates over 30,000 km. Another objective — and one which turned out to be instrumental in achieving the support of local people — was to create awareness about the long migratory journeys of the birds, journeys in which Nagaland was just one stop. Three birds were tagged, while a further 27 were fitted with metal and plastic leg-rings. By 2013, authorities, religious leaders and youth groups had stepped in to persuade local people to provide safe passage to the birds, which spend a month in the area, normally in October - November, before continuing their migration from Siberia, China and Mongolia onto the southern parts of Africa. (+49 228) 815 2401, Fax. The efforts and actions taken have proved triumphant, as the Amur Falcons went from being mass hunted to be seen as the flagship species of conservation in a single year. It was reported that the falcons called as “Tuma Loih” in the local dialect of Yaongyimchen started arriving in batches since October second week. One of the objectives of the scientists was to find out whether there were other sites where Amur Falcons were flocking in similarly large numbers.
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