Migratory birds on way to Africa killed in Nagaland: report

Amur falcons, a protected species, are killed for meat while flying over Nagaland as part of their migration every year from Siberia to Africa, a report has claimed.

"We estimate that during the peak migration 12,000 to 14,000 birds are being hunted for consumption and commercial sale every day," said a report by Conservation India.

"We further estimate that a mind-boggling 120,000 to 140,000 birds are being slaughtered in Nagaland every year during their passage through the state," it said.

Investigators from the Bangalore-based wildlife conservation NGO visited Doyang reservoir in Wokha district of Nagaland last month to document the shocking massacre of tens of thousands of the raptor.

"This is probably the single largest congregation of Amur falcons recorded anywhere in the world and it is tragic that they meet such a fate," the report said.

The report said hunters lay permanent nets close to the water reservoir to trap the birds when they come to roost during late evenings or when they leave early in the morning.

Besides killing them for meat, it said the captured birds are kept alive in mosquito nets or cane baskets so that they can be sold alive in markets.

Demanding enforcement of the ban on killing of these winged guests, Bombay Natural History Society director Dr Asad Rahmani has written to Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan.

He has suggested that both the Centre and Nagaland government take immediate steps to protect this species and also create awareness among local communities.

The Amur falcons arrive in huge numbers in October in northeast India from Siberia en route to their final destination ¿ Somalia, Kenya and South Africa.

This handsome little raptor has one of the longest migration routes of all birds, doing up to 22,000 km in a year. The birds are unusual in that they migrate a large distance over the sea and also continue their journey at night.

Amur Falcons are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Convention of Migratory Species, of which India is a signatory.

The district administration has banned the killing of the birds by issuing an order in 2010.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.