The District Magistrate of issued an order on 19 October 2022 announcing total ban on hunting, catching, killing or selling of the bird Amur Falcon by airgun or by any other means by anyone in the district with immediate effect.
By Tennoson Pheiray, TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
In view of the arrival of migratory bird like Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) locally known as “Leipung Khalang” and Grey-sided thrush (Turdus feae) locally known as “Shiri” which falls during the months of October and November in Ukhrul , the district administration has issued a prohibitory order against the use of airguns in the district during the migratory season. It has also issued a mass appeal to the general public to refrain from hunting, killing or possessing Amur falcon or Grey-sided thrush. Strict action shall be initiated against those violating the order.
Hunting, killing and destruction of wildlife including migratory birds such as Amur falcon or Grey-sided thrush for food, possession or otherwise is a punishable offence under sections 50 and 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Amur falcon is a Schedule IV bird under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and the hunting, sales and trade of such scheduled animals is prohibited. Contravenes to the Act may invite punishment with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to Rs 25,000/- or both.
Grey-sided thrush is a threatened and vulnerable species. It is threatened by habitat loss and habitat fragmentation under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, also known as the IUCN Red List.
Ukhrul District with its rich biodiversity, and known for natural hospitality of its people, needs to welcome this winged visitors , the Amur falcon and protect them to make this place one of their favourite global destinations to visit and roost. The migratory birds have been sighted in Ukhrul since many decades, taking a detour in their international sojourn, and found feasting on the long-winged termites that come out from their holes in Hatha, Ramva, Finch Corner, Shangshak and other areas of Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts.
Shirui Kashong range is home to migratory birds originating from Siberia and China. The birds, locally known as “SHIRI” (grey-sided thrush) nestle and feed on red berry fruits locally known as “SHIRUNGTHEI” found in the Shirui Kashong range. The migratory birds usually visit Shirui in the month of November and stay till January. Trapping of the grey-sided thrush for food and large scale felling of fruit- bearing trees Shirungthei have posed a threat to this migratory bird.
To check and control the hunting and killing of these migratory birds, besides banning of airguns, massive awareness and participation of the community is needed.