Imphal: A female Amur falcon ‘Tamenglong’, named after the district in Manipur by forest officials and set free with a GPS-fitted transmitter on November 5, has reportedly reached Somalia after flying a distance of 5,700 km.
On Sunday, state forest Minister T Shyamkumar said that its male companion ‘Manipur’ could not make it as it was found killed by unknown miscreants at Kebuching bordering Tamenglong and Noney districts, soon after it was released on that day.
Weighing on average of 160 grams, amur falcons are long-distance migratory birds and arrive in the Northeast, mainly in Manipur and Nagaland, on their south-bound migration during October from their breeding grounds in northern China, eastern Mongolia and far-east Russia en-route to their wintering grounds in South Africa. The one-way journey from their breeding to wintering grounds via India is about 20,000 km and they do this twice a year.
On November 4, a team of officials led by Suresh Kumar of the Wildlife Institute of India, the state forest department under DFO Arun RS and biologists from Hungary captured five amur falcons using canopy mist-nets at a community forest area of Chiuluan village along the Barak river in Tamenglong district.
Following assessment for body and feather condition, two fittest birds out of five were attached with GPS satellite tags and released in the morning of November 5. While the male bird was named 'Manipur', the female one was called 'Tamenglong'. The satellite tagging of the two birds were informed to the villagers of Tamenglong on the day of the ‘4th Amur Falcon Dance Festival’ held in the district around that time.