Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021

Manipur to start satellite tracking of Amur Falcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manipur Forest department is all set to introduce satellite tracking of Amur Falcons (Falcon Amurensis) in the State.“We are planning to introduce satellite tracking by using radio transmitters to study the migratory routes and its stop-over sites not only in our region but across the globe,” said a senior Forest official. “This will help in identifying the reason behind the bird’s inability to stay longer in one place”, he added. 

 

 

The Forest authority is planning to introduce the new technique of study from next season as the procurement of the radio transmitters take more than six months. 

 

 

The step has been taken up considering the importance of routine arrival of Armur Falcon in the State particularly in Tamenglong district villages during mid October to November-end every year. During their stay, Amur Falcon, one of the least talked about raptor species out of 69 known in India, controls insects and pests in the agricultural fields during harvest season by eating the termites and grasshoppers, etc. 

 

 

But due to global climate change, human activities including hunting and change of its habitat, the number of this long distance migratory bird has reportedly declined. The birds travel from eastern Asia all the way to southern Africa and back every year, visiting Tamenglong. 

 

 

According to official sources, it is estimated that only about 60,000 Amur Falcons visited Tamenglong in 2017 against more than one lakh in 2015 and 50,000 in 2016. “There are many reasons behind the decrease as the birds might have shifted to new stop-over sites in other Equatorial regions (including Tripura and Bangladesh,” the Forest official said. “But we cannot simply give any conclusion regarding the decrease of birds visiting Tamenglong unless we take up a comprehensive study.” 

 

 

To spread awareness about the Amur Falcon among the local populace, Rain Forest Club, a Tamenglong based organisation in association with Forest department had even organised the 3rd edition of Amur Falcon festival on November 3 last. 

 

 

According to Coordinator of Indian Bird Conservation Network Manipur, Rajkumar Birjit Singh, the Rongmei tribes of Tamenglong district like that of Maasai tribe in Kenya, never killed Amur Falcons in the olden days as the bird controlled the insects in their agricultural fields during harvest seasons. “So people have to think twice and study why Amur Falcons visit specific areas of Tamenglong annually,” he observed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Assam Tribune