Nagaland on Friday commemorated ten years of Amur Falcon conservation by organizing a programme in the conference hall of principal chief conservator of forests and head of forest forces (PCCF and HoFF), Nagaland Park.
Speaking at the event, commissioner and secretary department of environment, forest and climate change, Y Kikheto Sema recalled how the state took responsibility of safeguarding migratory bird–Amur Falcons, the world’s longest travelling raptors, in 2013. He said in 2013 with much effort by media, Forest department, Village Councils of Pangti and Sungro, Churches, Wildlife Trust of India etc, the area where the birds roosted were declared as “zero hunting”.
Kikheto said the success of conservation drew attention at the national and international levels, and after an international team of ornithologists recorded around one million Amur Falcons roosting in Doyang-Pangti region, Nagaland was declared as the “Falcon Capital of the World” on November 6, 2013.
Kikheto acknowledged the efforts made by NGOs, Churches and department, especially the resolution of NBCC adopted at the 72nd annual session in Ahthibung in 2009, where it was resolved that “Baptist churches will initiate climate change and eco-biological friendly action, sensitize on conservation and preservation of wildlife”.
He recalled the NBCC resolution at the 74th annual session held at Rotomi village in 2011, pertaining to “eco-biodiversity”.
He also recalled the contribution of Y Nuklu Phom, a church worker, who was awarded “Whitley Award”, also known as the “Green Oscar”, for his efforts to create a network of community-owned forests in the state and protect the rare Amur falcon.
In his short speech, Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union (AFRAU) Pangti village, president P. Thungchumo Shidio highlighted how Pangti village was known to the world as the “Falcon Capital of the World” through the conservation of Amur Falcon.
He said that massive killing of Amur Falcons were brought to light in 2012 – 2013 through the efforts of the Conservation India and its associates, Forest Department, the Nagaland Wildlife & Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India and NGOs.
He said following exposure of random killing of Amur Falcons till October 2012, awareness campaign for conservation and protection of the migratory bird began on war footing in 2013 by the state forest and wildlife and various departments and NGOs.
With the involvement of the entire community including churches and village councils, he said it was resolved to conserve and protect the Amur Falcons in Pangti village and prohibited the killing of Amur Falcons in any form in 2013.
In 2014, Roosting Area Land Owners formed an NGO Group known as “Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union (AFRAU) Pangti Village” to conserve and protect the Amur Falcons and till today.
Earlier, at the programme, report by Wildlife Institute of India on “Understanding the Amur Falcon – Their Stopover Sites in Nagaland and Their Migratory Routes for Better Conservation Planning” and Nagaland State Poster of State of India Bird Report were also released.