Tamenglong: Head count of Amur falcons was conducted for the first time in Manipur at the forest-rich Tamenglong district’s Chuilon village on Friday.
Locals in the Zeliangrong-Naga dominated Tamenglong district headquarters, which is located about 155 km from Imphal, said that the number of the long-distance migratory birds that arrived in the state is comparatively lesser this year as compared to the previous years.
The census was carried out by the experts of the Wildlife Explorer Manipur (WEM) supported by volunteers of the Rainforest Club Tamenglong (RCT) and forest staff from three roosting sites of the falcons in the thick jungles of Chuilon along the banks of Barak river for the first half of the day.
Drones, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, telephoto cameras and so on, were used to conduct the census task.
According to WEM, the census figure of the raptors would be known after totaling the recorded figure of birds through the electronic gadgets from the three rooting sites.
However, according to WEM secretary, Elangbam Premjit Singh, because of poor internet service in the district, the tabulation could not be done immediately.
“The census task would give a big help in studying the migratory pattern in terms of numbers as well as our efforts in stepping up of the conservation works of the beautiful birds,” said divisional forest officer (Tamenglong) Amandeep. The exercise is a brainchild of the officer.
Ahead of the census programme, WEM experts provided a short term training course on bird census to RCT volunteers as well as village volunteers at Tamenlong district headquarters, informed Amandeep.
Besides the census programme, the division as well RCT are currently conducting up a series of programmes to spread awareness among the villagers to protect the falcons during their seasonal migratory period in Tamenglong, the senior forest officer said.
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Like the past, Amur falcons land in Manipur, mostly in Tamenglong and neighboring Nagaland in mid-October from their breeding grounds in South Eastern Siberia and Northern China.
After roosting for about a month, the falcons locally known as Akhoipuina or Kahoipuina in the Rongmei dialect will fly towards the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa and flock for a short time before moving towards their breeding grounds, added the wildlife experts.
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