2 female Amur falcons released on Oct 31; 3 more sent off on Nov 1. Project initiated by Wildlife Institute of India aimed at studying flight route of migratory birds
Tamenglong: Scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), led by Dr Suresh Kumar, and state forest officials have reportedly released five GPS satellite radio transmitter-tagged Amur falcons from Puching village of Manipur’s Tamenglong district, making it the first-of-its-kind done without the assistance of experts from other countries.
According to Tamenglong DFO Arun RS, the first two satellite-tagged Amur falcons were released by the village chairman, Ramkhonang Gonmei, in presence of forest department officials and village authorities after a short prayer for the safe passage of the birds on Thursday.
The two falcons, both female, were named Irang and Puching and weighed about 155 gm and 195 gm, respectively.
Along with the two migratory birds, one juvenile Amur falcon, which was not suitable for tagging, was also released with a ring on it, he said.
On Friday, three more satellite-tagged Amur falcons were successfully released from Puching, the village which is known as one of the favourite roosting places for the raptor during its migration period from north to south.
Puching village, which was known as a hunting ground for Amur falcons earlier, has now transformed into a hub for conservation, says Arun.
The three falcons released on Friday, one female and two male, were named Barak, Phalong and Chiulon and weighed 185 gm, 170 gm and 150 gm, respectively.
The satellite tagging activities, as per the report, was carried out Dr Suresh Kumar and his team from Wildlife Institute of India with support from Tamenglong forest division, forest department of Manipur and Rain Forest Tamenglong.
The activities were carried out to study the flight route of these migratory birds which are an important biological indicator.
During his interaction with locals, Dr Kumar stressed on the importance of landscape conservation and mutual interaction among the Amur falcon's roosting villages within the state and even with neighbouring states.
As per reports, this migratory bird, which is locally known as Akhoipuina or Kahoipuina in the Rongmei dialect, could not bear the severe winter and the cold climate in its breeding grounds in North China and Siberia.
Thereby, in search for food and adaptable climatic condition, this small raptor migrates in large numbers during the winter season to the warmer climatic regions in southern countries like Myanmar, Northeast India, Central India, Western India and South Africa.