Itanagar: Much to the delight of locals and forest officials in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, a flock of over a hundred Amur Falcons have arrived in the easternmost district as part of their annual migration, a senior forest official said.
The migratory avian species arrived at Nuisa village in the district on October 18, covering an aerial distance of over 3,700 kilometres from south-eastern Siberia and will fly to South Africa after reposing in the district for more than two weeks, the official said.
The Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds 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.
“Besides Nuisa, we have also recorded the presence of the birds at nearby sites like Mintong, Pangchau and Wakka in the district,” Chief Conservator of Forest of Southern Arunachal circle Chimoy Simai said.
Simai has been visiting all the roosting sites since October 18.
“Every evening, these avian predators engage in a feeding frenzy on certain types of termites that surface only on sunny days,” the official said.
The chief conservator has instructed the Kanubari forest division to carry out an awareness drive to protect the roosting ground from any human interference.
Simai said that he is confident that the local people will understand the significance of it and participate in the conservation process as it will also create a scope to generate income through the eco-tourism prospects.
As a preventive measure, the forest department has seized 28 catapults from nearby villages.
“On sunny days, termites are available and the birds come down to feed on the insects or else they stay atop hills at an elevation of 1,090 metres as we recorded,” Simai said.
The Range Forest Officer (RFO) along with his staff has been engaged to carefully monitor the migratory birds as incessant rain has severely interrupted the feeding frenzy.
As a part of an exposure tour, a 12-member team consisting of the village chief, gaon burahs, PRI members and students, headed by forest staff will visit Pangti in Nagaland on November 7, the official informed.
Pangti is the site where migratory birds sojourn in massive numbers and the natives have successfully adopted many conservation methods and scientifically managed the roosting site, he added.
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