The Amur falcons (Falcon amurensis) roosting in Manipur’s Tamenglong district have left for their onward sojourn to African continent, said a forest official.
Kharibam Hitler Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Tamenglong in a Facebook post said two Amur falcons – ‘Chiulon’ and ‘Irang’ which were radio-tagged in Manipur last year as part of migratory birds study in collaboration with Wildlife Institute of India – are still active and safe.
“They are in Somalia,” he said.
Union Forest and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had also tweeted in the last week, “After spending close to 20 days in Manipur and adjoining areas, the two satellite-tagged Amur falcons – Chiulon and Irang – were out on their second year migration on November 11 and 12.”
“They have now reached Somalia covering 5,700 km and 5,400 km, respectively, in five-and-half-day non-stop flight,” Union Minister said.
‘Chiulon’, named after a village in Tamenglong district, left from Manipur, while ‘Irang’, named after a river, left from Bangladesh border for second migration, the officials of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, stated.
A five-member team of the institute conducted the satellite radio-tagging programme in Manipur, and so far the team has radio-tagged five Amur falcons, including Chiulon and Irang at Puching village on October 31 and November 1, with the support of locals.
Thousands of Amur falcons spend their summers at their breeding ground in northern China and in winter, they migrate to South Africa.
On their way, they stop in north-eastern States, particularly in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur in October, and leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight to African countries over the Arabian Sea.