Manipur gearing up for Amur Falcon Festival at Tamenglong

IMPHAL, Nov 13
With an objective to spread awareness on the protection and conservation of Amur Falcon, Manipur forest authority is gearing up for the seventh edition of the Amur Falcon Festival at Tamenglong district headquarters, 150 kms west of Imphal on November 14.
The day-long festival is generally celebrated in the first or second week of November to strengthen human-nature relationship and acknowledge the importance of this small raptor in the lives of people in the region.
Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, Water Resource Minister Awangbow Newmai and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Head of Forest Force, Government of Manipur Dr AK Joshi will attend the festival.
The festival has become an annual affair since its first festival in 2015 with the peak migration period of Amur Falcon and best season for undertaking outdoor activities with an objective to address alternative and sustainable livelihood opportunities for the community through eco-tourism.
"The festival is not just a place to celebrate but also a place where people from different backgrounds come together and share their ideas," says Divisional Forest Officer of Tamenglong district.
"We're also compiling local best practices & creating traditional knowledge banks to be utilised for betterment of Amur Falcon initiatives."
After the arrival of the Amur Falcon in Tamenglong in the 2nd week of October, the State Forest Department has taken up regular checking and awareness programmes besides organising joint patrolling in the district.
Earlier DCs Tamenglong and Senapati districts separately issued orders to monitor and control hunting of wildlife in their respective districts during the sojourn of Amur Falcon which are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and included under Schedule IV.
The Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) is the world's longest travelling small raptors of the falcon family.
Amur Falcons migrate to their wintering grounds in South Africa, usually arriving in large numbers during October in Nagaland and Manipur besides other places in North East undertaking a yearly journey of about 20,000 km.
They leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight to Africa where they spend their winters.
The radio-tagging programme of Amur Falcons started in Manipur in 2018 as part of an initiative to conserve wildlife and also to study the route of these long-distance migratory birds and the environmental patterns along the route as India is a signatory to an international agreement on conservation of migratory birds of prey.
    The Assam Tribune