Assam Manipur Nagaland Northeast

Guns and airguns banned in Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur to protect migratory bird Amur falcons

The forest officials have confiscated catapults and nets and banned airguns in Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur to save the migratory birds Amur falcons from the hands of the poachers and local people.

Every year, the migratory bird Amur falcons come to the Northeastern states after covering a long distance.

The precautions against guns and catapults are necessary because the falcon used to be aggressively hunted by locals. Huge fishing nets used to be stretched from trees across rivers to trap the birds or they were shot, according to a report.

The long-distance travelling raptors reportedly breed in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern and East Africa.

Forest officers were patrolling areas of Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur states to make sure no one disturbs the long-distance travelling raptors who stop briefly in India.

The moment they arrive, forest officials in the northeast step up measures to ensure they are left alone to recuperate, roost and feast on the termites they adore. Another favourite snack is the large population of grasshoppers that has fortuitously come up in recent years owing to the moisture created by the Doyang dam in Nagaland.

Wildlife biologist and bird enthusiast Sumit Dookia said, “During this stay, they have to build up their reserves of energy and fat for the marathon flight that lies ahead. They need a high protein diet and plenty of rest.”
One village, Pangti in Nagaland, has become famous as the “falcon capital of the world” for its large number of amurs, the report said.

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