The three Amur Falcons named Naga, Wokha and Panti that were satellite tagged and released on November 7, 2013 from Doyang in Nagaland have safely reached South Africa on January 9, 2014, flying in a slightly different routes than as expected earlier. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest for Nagaland P Lokeswara Rao informed The Morung Express.
As per satellite feed updates, the birds flew from Doyang, Nagaland over Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, Bangladesh, the Bay of Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, the Arabian Sea, Somalia and Kenya, within a timeframe of thirteen days. The birds remained at the Tsavo East National Park, Kenya for sometime before resuming their journey. On their way from Kenya, the birds again took slightly different routes, through Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana to finally reach South Africa, where they will spend the winter.
The three Amur Falcons were fitted with satellite antennas and solar panels on their backs to prepare a conservation action plan for the birds by understanding their seasonal migration patterns. The tagging was done under a joint scientific mission, involving the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun; Convention on Migratory Species Office, United Nations Environment Programme, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Nagaland Forest Department.
Prior to the release of the birds, a massive campaign was launched in 2013, by both government and non government agencies to step up efforts in protecting the Amur Falcon. This was done in the backdrop of the mass killing of the birds in the state, which received worldwide attention in 2012.
Every October, a large number of Amur Falcons arrive in the North East, especially Nagaland, from Siberia en route to their final destination — Somalia, Kenya and then South Africa. Though the Amur Falcon is not an endangered species of bird, there has been a huge interest for the majestic bird species because of its migratory behaviour.