Imphal, Nov. 4 (EMN): The 5th edition of the Amur Falcon Festival was celebrated at the Unity Stadium of Tamenglong town,150 km west of Imphal on Monday.
The festival was jointly organised by the Tamenglong Forest division, the Rainforest Club Tamenglong and Tamenglong Baptist Church.
Speaking on the occasion, Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said the migratory bird Amur falcon has put Tamenglong district in the global map.
The forest, wildlife, sanctuaries and water bodies of the district are the real assets of the state, he maintained.
Appreciating the villagers for their conservation initiatives in the district, he said the government is working on the jhum cultivation and other alternative livelihood to the villagers.
On the proposals and public demands on conservation of hornbill bird which are found abundantly at Rangkekiuluang village under Tousem sub-division, he said that he will consult with chief minister of the state regarding the need to start the conservation process.
The Rainforest Club Tamenglong which had been taking various awareness programmes on wildlife particularly Amur falcons in Tamenglong also submitted a memorandum demanding separate wildlife division for Tamenglong by increasing forest staff and providing alternative livelihood for those dependent on jhum cultivation and promotion of eco-tourism.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) K Angami appreciated the people of Tamenglong and Noney districts for their initiatives in protection, conservation of Amur falcon, giving safe passage to them in their sojourn in the district.
Amur falcons arrive in large numbers in the Northeast, including Manipur from her breeding grounds in China during October. They leave the region in November after eating enough insects and termites from fields for their non-stop flight to Africa from India.
On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner Armstrong highlighted the steps of the district administration on conservation initiatives of Amur falcon and the necessity to conserve hornbill bird in the district.
Informing that 500 hectares of land has been declared as community forest, he said other villages are convinced to come forward together for set up of more community villages.
This year, Dr. Suresh Kumar led five member team from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun have satellite radio tagged five Amur Falcons including two males at Puching village. The tagged pigeon size birds are named as Puching, Phalong and Chiulon-all village names and Irang, Barak-names of rivers.
WII scientist Dr. Suresh who had tagged more than 10 birds, said that falcons are still flying high in Tamenglong sky “to maintain mountain eco-system on which we’re all dependent.”
The falcons tagging programmes in Manipur which has started previous year to study the migratory route of the bird which is an important biological indicator, plays an important role in generating more awareness about the bird, forest and biodiversity.