Post Mortem

Ensure safe passage for Amur Falcons

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/4/2019 11:49:18 AM IST

 It is once again that time of the year when Amur Falcons the long-distance migrants pass through India on their return northbound migration from Southern Africaen-route to their breeding grounds in northern China and eastern Mongolia. Since 2013 a select number of Amur Falcons were satellite tagged at their roost sites in Nagaland to study their movements and migration, which information has also been used to create awareness amongst the local people about this unique little raptor. 

Longleng a female Amur falcon satellite tagged in October 2016 from the roost site in Yaongyimchen Community Reserve in Longleng district is the only falcon that is currently being tracked. Longleng started on its migration from Somalia to India on 29th April 2019. Upon leaving the African continent this particular falcon made a four-day non-stop flight over the Arabian sea skirting the coastline of the Arabian Peninsula and then flew along the coast of Gujarat and enter India over Surat town. On 2ndMay Longleng made its first stop in a forested tract in the Gadchiroli Forest Reserve in eastern Maharashtra covering a distance of close to 4800 km.

During the two years of tracking since 2016 on its return from Africa Longleng on entering the Maharashtra coastline would fly down to southern Karnataka close to Bangalore or Mysore and after few days of stop-over head back along the east coast to northeast India and then beyond. However, interestingly Longleng this year headed straight across Maharashtra State and almost straight in the direction of cyclone Fani that was moving up along the Bay of Bengal coast. Longleng is currently in eastern ghats region in southern Odisha possibly waiting for cyclone Fani to pass. 

Longleng being a terrestrial bird the open sea crossing poses a challenge and as a result Amur falcon make non-stop flights of three to five days or may be more. Longleng’s arrival in India now marks the sixth successful crossing of the Arabian Sea and is expected to arrive in the next few days in Nagaland once again.

Wish to add further here that efforts made by the entire citizens of Yaongyimchen, led by Village Councils, the Church, the Students body, Staff Union, Members of LEMSACHENLOK, and the entire Community under Yaongyimchen, Alayong and Sanglu for their commitment in creating a huge forest for Community Biodiversity Area and giving asylum to Amur Falcons and other species which is growing in numbers year by year. The community has been giving their best effort towards the Biodiversity Conservation initiatives and this is a huge contribution to the Global world in the area of protecting many endangered species.”

While communicating the latest status of Amur Falcon Longleng to Mr. Y. NukluPhom who is spearheading the Community work and was specially instrumental in the satellite tagging of the Amur Falcon “LONGLENG,” Mr. Phom said, “LONGLENG” has been satellite tagged embraced with Tears and Prayers of the Church and therefore the survival and sustenance of Longleng is an answer of God to the prayers of His Faithful Prayer warriors 

It is also to be noted that Government of Nagaland particularly the Wildlife Wing of Nagaland Forest Department has been undertaking several measures to create awareness among Naga people to ensure a safe passage to Falcons as they pass through the state. These measures should be continued to be taken up.

Dr. Suresh Kumar, senior scientist, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun


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