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Don�t harm Amur Falcons, Naga people urged

By The Assam Tribune

KOHIMA, Sept 28 � The Nagaland Forest department has appealed to the people not to harm migratory Amur Falcons birds in the State and instead provide them with a safe passage.

In every October, huge numbers of Amur Falcons arrive in Wokha district of Nagaland from Siberia en route to their final destination � Somalia, Kenya and South Africa. This raptor has one of the longest migration routes of all birds, doing up to 22,000 km in a year.

The birds are expected to stay there till November and, during this two-month period, they should not be killed for consumption or trapped for commercial purposes, the Forest department said in its appeal.

There were reports even two years back that over 10,000 Amur Falcons were hunted everyday during their stay in Nagaland.

But the combined efforts of the people of Nagaland protected their winged guests in 2013 and has brought laurels, both nationally and internationally, the Forest department said in a statement.

A UK firm, Silver Back Films Ltd, has sought permission from the government for filming on Amur Falcons and to show to the world the efforts of the people of Nagaland to protect the birds, Chief Wildlife Warden of Nagaland Satya Prakash Tripathi said.

India being a signatory to International Convention on Conservation of Migratory Wildlife Species, �We are bound to protect and provide safe passage to any migratory bird passing through Nagaland�, Tripathi said.

Amur Falcon is protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and trapping or killing of the birds is a criminal offence punishable with three years rigorous imprisonment or with Rs 25,000 fine or both.

Not harming the migratory birds would bring other benefits too, as the State Government has decided to divert development funds of village for environment protection, in case of killing of the bird in a village, the statement said. � PTI

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