The Tyrso Valley Wildlife Protection Society (TVWPS) is all set to host the fourth Amur Falcon Festival as the mass arrival of the migratory birds has already begun to Tyrso area in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya bordering Assam. TVWPS secretary Alos Nongpoh on Wednesday said that the birds have started arriving in groups and “countless in number”. The first group of the falcons, he said, had arrived on October 14 last, and they will stay in the area for around 35 days up to November 21 next.
Sharing their experiences about the arrival of the falcons and the duration of their stay, Nongpoh said that if the weather is too cold, the birds may leave the area before November 21 next. He said that as the birds have already arrived, visitors from various places of India would come to Tyrso and Umru villages in the coming days to witness the annual migration of these birds.
“The visitors can visit the village to see the birds for three hours from 4 pm to 7 pm, and they should not do anything that disturb or harm these birds,” Nongpoh appealed. The TVWPS has prepared a host of activities for the Amur Falcon Festival which will commence with the 1st Amur Falcon Football Tournament for boys and girls of the area on November 21 next at Madan Tyrso Pyllun, followed by drawing and painting competitions for students studying in various Lower Primary and Upper Primary schools in the area.
Nongpoh said that the TVWPS would also organise the Second Amur Falcon Marathon for children and as well as adults below 60 years of age. “We want to organise this festival to make our children and the villagers aware that we need to protect and preserve these birds,” Nongpoh said.
The TVWPS hosted the First Amur Falcon Festival in 2015 and the Amur Falcons arrived in the area for the first time in 2010. Asked about the potential of the area in terms of tourism, Nongpoh said that many tourists had visited the area in the last few years especially during the arrival of Amur Falcons.
He said that the Tyrso area had benefitted from the festival as the Meghalaya Government had constructed around 9 km of road, of which 6 km was constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) from Mawlasnai to Tyrso, besides a guest house constructed at a cost of about Rs 34 lakh and an Entrepreneurship Facilitation Centre sanctioned at Rs 1.17 crore.
“The Assam Government has encroached into Umru Village and has started building infrastructure this year to promote tourism there,” Nongpoh remarked. Umru Village has around 200 households and falls under Meghalaya, but Assam claimed the area, the villagers said.