Editorial

Raptors’ last flight

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/12/2020 1:26:16 PM IST

 Conservation efforts in Nagaland has been a mixed experience with mixed results and if it is to make headway, then the state government has to steer the action plans in the right direction so as to achieve the desired objective. Conservation of flora and fauna will remain as crucial as the existence of nature itself. Conservation can only be achieved through a path of sustainable biodiversity. This is to ensure the variety of plants and animals are maintained in the environment such that no species are lost. It also means maintaining ecological balance.Ecological balance is very important because life is supported by this balance. This newspaper has been highlighting environment and conservation issues since 1990. Though the state government(mainly the Forest department) has been pursuing the objective by attempting to get the landowners- tribes- on board, it has not been a success story. In many cases, the government has failed to deliver while on few instances, the landowners/village have chosen to follow their own path.This newspaper had recently published a story on the Amur Falcons in Pangti village Wokha district. In their annual migratory flight to South Africa from northern China and Siberia, Amur falcons pass through northeast India, particularly Manipur and Nagaland. In Nagaland, Pangti village attracted worldwide attention for the wrong reasons as villagers reportedly killed thousands each year when they went to roost at the area in and around Doyang hydro project.It may be mentioned that earlier, the raptors used to roost at Chuchuyimlang village under Mokokchung district. Quite clearly, poor sustainable management needed for the required environment had driven the raptors away. Pangti village found mention internationally as the “killing field” of thousands of Amur Falcons. Then by 2013-14 the villagers were transformed from predators to protectors and so Pangti village became the focus of international acclaim and also putting Nagaland on the map as the Falcon capital of the world. In November 2013, three birds, ‘Naga,’ ‘Wokha,’ and ‘Pangti’ were tagged with satellite transmissions. This brought thousands of bird watchers from both India and abroad. Normally, a raptor’s arduous migratory flight of over 22,000 kms and during which it sends signals. Sometimes, signals may stop for whatever reasons. The three birds stopped sending signals by 2015. By 2018 developments of another kind overwhelmed Pangti when the village council resolved to not allow visitors to the roosting site. The village was angry because projects meant for the roosting area were “hijacked” to another place.No programme could be held in 2019 and it is likely that it might continue unless the state government intervenes to resolve the issue. In November 2016, five Amur Falcons were tagged in Nagaland- Hakhizhe, Intanki, Longleng, Eninum, and Phom. While four stopped sending signals or died, only ‘Longleng’ continues to transmit signals. The bird had recently sent signals from somewhere in China on May 7,2020. ‘Longleng’ was tagged from Yaongyimchen Community Bio-Diversity Conservation in Longleng district. If Longleng either dies or stops sending signals, it would also signal the end of the Amur Falcon chapter for Nagaland. No new tagging has been done since 2016. On the other hand, Manipur is on the to open its Amur Falcon chapter. In Manipur, two birds were tagged in 2018 but both were killed. Then in 2019 five raptors were tagged of which three continue to send signals. The raptor approach in the two states explain the community approach towards conservation.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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