Ensure safe passage of Amur Falcon: IBCN

G. Venkataramana Rao
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They are being killed during the migratory season

Under threat:Amur Falcon
Under threat:Amur Falcon

The Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) has demanded the Central Government to take measures to stop the slaughter of the migratory Amur Falcons (Falco amurensis) by communities that look to bird hunting for a livelihood.

The IBCN State coordinator K. Mrutyunjaya Rao said that the Amur Falcon breeds in South-eastern Siberia and Northern China wintered in Southern Africa. The birds which feed mainly on insects and termites fly on an average 22,000 k.m. in a year. India lies right in the middle of the route birds take from the breeding area to the wintering area, he added. Between 12,000 and 14,000 Falcons were being hunted everyday during the peak migratory season (October and November). According to estimates made by independent conservation groups 1.2 lakh falcons were being slaughtered in Nagaland for consumption and also for commercial sale, he lamented. This must be the largest slaughter of any species of birds in the world, Mr. Rao said. The migratory birds were trapped using fishing nets that were put up in places where they were known to rest. The birds that get entangled in the nets are sold live to customers.

Noted Ornithologist and author of ‘Birds of South India’, C.M. Inglis has reported such mass capture and sale of birds in Andhra Pradesh also in 1911. Mr. Rao appealed to the Birdwatcher’s Society of Andhra Pradesh, Conservation India, Bombay Natural History Society and other bird lovers to campaign against the slaughter and bring pressure on the Central Government. He said that steps were needed to rehabilitate the communities that traditionally depend on bird hunting for a livelihood.

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