Waari Singbul Network
Tamenglong : With the completion of the first ever survey for population estimation of Amur falcons in strife-torn Manipur conducted at Tamenglong’s Chiuluan village, now the approximate number of the long-distance migratory birds currently roosting there is 1.41,274.
Using drones, Global Positioning System (GPS) devises, telephoto cameras, 11 members of Wildlife Explorers Manipur (WEM), a key animal lovers’ group of the state carried out the census exercise on Friday at Chiuluan, one of the six roosting sites of the long-distance migratory birds in the Zeliangrong-Naga dominated district.
The other five roosting sites are Bhalok, Matung, Puching, Punglam, Duigailong, forests officials said.
Volunteers of Rainforest Club Tamenglong (RCT) and staff of Divisional Forest Office ( Tamenglong) supported the census exercise.
WEM president Khoyumthem Brajesh Kumar, who announced the estimated census report on the occasion of 8th Amur Falcon festival at Tamenglong district headquarters on Saturday, said the falcons’ roosting site is located in bamboo forest near the banks of Barak river about 160 Km from Imphal.
The aims and objectives of the survey for population estimation of Amur falcons according to him is to estimate the number of the birds roosting in Chiuluan village area “as a pilot project so that a complete census of Amur falcon population for the district could be taken in the future.”
As done in the previous years, Amur falcons landed in Manipur, mostly in Tamenglong and neighboring Nagaland in mid-October from South Eastern Siberia and Northern China, their breeding grounds. The bird is locally known as Akhoipuina or Kahoipuina in the Rongmei dialect.
After roosting for about a month, the falcons will fly towards the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa and flock for a short time before moving towards their breeding grounds, said wildlife experts.
Divisional forest officer ( Tamenglong) Amandeep , the officer behind initiating the falcons’ population survey, said that since the task has been successfully conducted this time, they are planning to take up the same exercise at other roosting sites in the district next year.
He added that they are also planning to tag two Amur falcons by next year with the help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) which he said will enhance the understanding about their migratory pattern.
Deputy Commissioner (Tamenglong) Angshim Dangshawa, addressing the gathering at the Amur faclon festival, underscored the need to step up more awareness programmes to ensure that the people of the district come out in unison to safeguard and conserve Amur falcons during their migratory stay in Tamenglong.