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Amur Falcon festival observed in Manipur
Sobhapati Samom
 IMPHAL, Nov 8 - The 3rd edition of Amur Falcon festival was organised by Rain Forest Club under the aegis of Western Forest Division, Tamenglong district in Manipur, at Tamenglong, 150 km from here recently.

Tamenglong MLA Samuel Jendai, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest WPR & Training Dr Lokho Puni and Chief Conservator of Forest S Dhananjoy Singh attended the inaugural function of the festival.

Addressing the gathering, Jendai said conserving Amur Falcon was not an easy job in the past as killing and poaching of the bird was done as a source of livelihood in some areas. But, now even Nagaland has become a second home to the bird, he added.

He said the migration history of Amur Falcon from Siberia to North East India (Wokha in Nagaland and Tamenglong in Manipur), then to Africa(Kenya) where Maasai tribe was helped by the Amur Falcons by eating up the grasshoppers and flying termites. So Amur Falcon is defender of Rabi crops, Jendai said.

Urging the Forest department to restrict the killing of all kinds of birds, he assured that he will give utmost interest to the festival and be a defender of the birds.

Delivering his speech as a resource person, State Coordinator of Indian Bird Conservation Network RK Birjit Singh said that Rongmei tribe of Manipur’s Tamenglong district like that of Maasai tribe in Kenya, never killed Amur Falcons in the olden days as the bird controlled the insects in their agricultural fields during harvest season.

Stating that Amur Falcon is one of the least known birds among 69 Falcon species, Birjit called upon the people to think twice and study why Amur Falcons visit specific areas of Tamenglong annually. “So we need to keep the bio-diversity of these areas intact while welcoming the visit of this wonderful bird,” he observed.

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