The Tamenglong district administration of Manipur has imposed a total ban on air guns in the district with immediate effect from Saturday as the roosting season of Amur Falcons is about to start.
According to media reports, the district administration of Tamenglong has asked the villagers of the district to deposit their air guns to be kept by the respective village authorities in their custody till the last flock of the winged guests leave their roosting place.
According to the order issued by the district magistrate the ban will include hinting, catching, killing and selling of Amur Falcon, which is locally known as ‘Akhuaipuina’, by anyone in the district.
The order reads: “As the miratory birds usually arrive in many parts of North East India including Tamenglong district from first week of October and is likely to roost till the end of November and as this period is considered crucial in the life cycle of the Amur Falcon, I undersigned orders ban on all air guns in the district.”
Through the order, the district magistrate also warned that anyone found violating the prohibitory order would face the consequences as per the law.
The state forest department has also made all kind of preparation to tag another five Amur Falcons with satellite transmitters after they lost contacts with one of the two remaining falcons tagged with the same transmitter last year.
A media report quoted divisional forest officer (DFO) of Tamenglong district, Arun R.S. as saying that the forest department could not ascertain what had happened to the falcon tagged as ‘Tamenglong’.
Arun R.S. said, “We don’t know what had happened to Tamenglong; whether it died or the transmitter stopped working.”
The DFO informed that the department would tag five other Amur Falcon birds this year with the help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for which all sorts of preparation have been done.
A team of scientists from WII led by Dr Suresh Kumar, who led the tagging programme last year, will arrive in the district on October 16, said media reports.
It may be mentioned that on November 4, 2008 two Amur Falcons – Tamenglong and Manipur – were tagged with a satellite transmitter to understand more about the migratory birds during their sojourn in the district of Tamenglong.
The falcon, named as ‘Manipur’, was unfortunately killed by poachers in its roosting ground in the district four days after its release.
The other falcon named as ‘Tamenglong’ continued its journey for 5 days 7 hours and covered a distance of 5,700 km and reached the African continent. However, it lost contacts over Zambia.
The migratory Amur Falcons, after roosting in the region continue its sojourn towards the south, say experts.
They come from their breeding grounds in northern China, Eastern Mongolia and East Russia en-route to their winter grounds in South Africa.