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Amur falcon festival celebrated in Tamenglong

By Correspondent

IMPHAL, Nov 4 - With colourful dances on Amur falcon legends, the 5th Amur falcon festival was celebrated at the Tamenglong district headquarters, 150 km west of Imphal, on Monday.

The festival was jointly organised by Rainforest Club Tamenglong, Tamenglong Baptist Church and Tamenglong forest division.

Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests K Angami and Deputy Commissioner Armstrong Pame of Tamenglong attended the festival held under the theme �Befriending the enchanting falcon�.

Shyamkumar said the migratory Amur falcon has put Tamenglong in the global map, and lauded the conservation initiatives of the villagers. He also said the government was working on alternative livelihood for those involved in jhum cultivation. Stating that the government was planning to submit a Rs 30-crore financial assistance proposal for developmental programmes in the hill districts, he said he will consult the Chief Minister to initiate the conservation process of Hornbills at Rangkekiuluang village of Tousem subdivision.

Dr Suresh Kumar of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, who led a five-member team in satellite radio tagging five Amur falcons at Puching village on October 31 and November 1 with the support of locals, expressed the need to start �landscape conservation� to protect falcons and mountain ecosystem on which everyone is dependent.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Chambo Gonmei, who is also the honorary wildlife warden, also spoke during the festival, attended by village leaders of the Amur falcon roosting sites and Autonomous District Council members.

The Amur falcon tagging programme started in Manipur last year. Falcons arrive in large numbers in the North East, including Manipur, in October. They leave the region in November after eating insects and termites from fields for their non-stop flight to Africa.

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