Preserve forest area to save Amur Falcon: MLA Jendai

CORRESPONDENT TML, 3rd Nov: Highlighting the importance of Amur Falcon and the benefits that the migratory birds provide to the people of Tamenglong, local MLA Samuel Jendai has called upon the Forest department to not only save Amur Falcon but to preserve the forest which is the habitat of the migratory bird.

The MLA was speaking as chief guest during the 3rd Amur Falcon Festival held on Friday at Indoor Stadium, Tamenglong.

The programme was organised by Rainforest Club under the aegis of Western Forest Division, Tamenglong. The theme of the festival was ‘Save Falcon’.

MLA Jendai further said that Amur Falcon is the protector/defender of Rabi Crops. "So we should never kill the migratory birds which came from far-away place like Siberia to spend their days (about one and half month) starting from the month of October till last part of November to seek asylum and eat away the insects which destroy crops in Tamenglong.

“As Wokha district in Nagaland is regarded as the second home of Amur Falcon, let us welcome and give due hospitality to our guest migratory bird (Amur Falcon) in the district too”, he exhorted the gathering.
The programme was also attended by RK Birjit Singh, State Coordinator of Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) Manipur Chapter as a resource person and he spoke about Amur Falcon and its importance for the human beings. He emphasised on preserving and conserving the habitats of Amur Falcon as well.

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr Lokho Puni (IFS) attended the function as functional president while Chief Conservator of Forests-Territorial II, S Dhananjoy Singh; Chief Conservator of Forests, Western Circle Kh Brojendro Singh and Deputy Conservator of Forest, Climate Change, Biodiversity & Medicinal Plants Kh Sanajaoba were present as guests of honour.

Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor bird which migrate in large number from Siberia and Northern China travelling a long distance in search of food and warmer climatic region during Winter season.

They migrate to Myanmar, North East India, Central India, Western India and South Africa.

The bird species locally known as Akhuaipuina in Rongmei language is well known among the people of Manipur, particularly to Rongmei tribe in Tamenglong district since time immemorial.

In the past, the majestic and graceful arrival of the species used to be warmly welcomed and rejoiced by Rongmei tribe with traditional song and dance. The myth and belief of the ancient Rongmei tribe of Tamenglong district is that the arrival of the bird species provides a rich harvest of rice, vegetables and fruits.

Important roosting sites of Amur falcon in Tamenglong district included Vanchengphai, Khongjaron, Akhui, Tamenglong Khunjao, Keikao, Wairangba, Irang, Sonpram, Bamgaijang, Zeliadjang, Chingkhao, Azuram, Namtiram, Awangkhul and Langkhong.

According to Wildlife Protection Act 1972, anybody who hunts Amur Falcon or sells its meat is liable to be punished with imprisonment up to three years or fine up to Rs 25,000/ or both.

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