With Amur falcons returning to its favoured roosting site at the Yaongyimchen Community Biodiversity Conservation Area under Longleng district, the village councils of Yaongyimchen, Alayong, Sanglu have reaffirmed their commitment to protect the falcons during its stay and prohibit any activities that would harm the ecosystem within its jurisdiction.
According to a press release from the Lemsachenlok Society, the falcons, also known as ‘Tuma Loih’ in the local language of Yaongyimchen, started arriving in batches since the second week of October.
As of the latest data collected, the falcons are gradually increasing every day and it appears that the numbers are more this year, the release stated.
Since 2010, Lemsachenlok Society, comprising of Yaongyimchen, Alayong and Sanglu villages have been initiating biodiversity conservation, setting aside a huge forest area as Community Biodiversity Conservation area and today it gives asylum to hundreds of flora and fauna species, it said.
Conservation, in the region, is a unique initiative with the community shifting their regular jhum fields to different locations in order to provide a conducive ecosystem for the Amur falcons which fly in from Mongolia to feed on flying termites and other insects as they energize their strength before taking off on a five day and night continuous flight to South Africa for the winter, the press release stated.
It further stated that the entire community of the three villages enthusiastically kicked off its preparation for the ‘homecoming’ of the Amur falcons beginning from the month of October.
“Volunteers have been alternatively keeping a vigil in and around the entire village jurisdiction while the womenfolk have been engaged in cleaning the surroundings and the menfolk in making renovations and construction of watchtowers,” the press release stated.
The Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) is protected under The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and The Convention on Migratory Species. It is also listed on Appendix II of CITES. Thus, based on these Acts and also the resolution adopted by the citizens in 2010, the village councils in its joint meeting on November 2, reaffirmed to protect the falcons during their short stay and prohibit any activities that would harm the ecosystem especially, the Amur falcons within its jurisdiction, the release stated.
While there are several roosting sites in the State, the joint meeting resolved that patrolling within the entire village jurisdiction especially the roosting site, will be conducted and whoever is caught indulging in the act of distracting the biodiversity, especially the Amur falcons in any manner within its jurisdiction will be dealt with according to it a resolution, it cautioned.
On Tuesday, Mon district banned hunting, trapping, killing or selling of Amur falcons.
“Some instances of hunting, trapping and killing of Amur falcons in Mon district have been reported and therefore all administration officers and village councils under Mon district have been directed to give wide publicity in their respective jurisdictions and strictly enforce this order along with Police and Forest Departments,” a report from the State DIPR stated.
Hunting, trapping, killing or selling of Amur falcons could lead to three years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 25000 or both under Section 51 of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, it cautioned.
Reference: The Morung Express