As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

120,000 Amur falcons massacred in 1 week in India

Huge massacre of migratory falcons an annual event in India
Our thanks to by Shashank Dalvi and Ramki Sreenivasan of Conservation India for most of the information and all of the images for this article.

Amur falcons migrate from southern Africa to Mongolia and eastern China, and back, every year, an extraordinary round-trip of some 14,000 miles.

However as many as 100,000 falcons (some estimate even more) are killed on their migration when they reach India's north-eastern state of Nagaland. Witnesses claim that tens of thousands of Amur falcons are being trapped and slaughtered every day during their migration.

According to Conservation India: "We estimate that during the peak migration 12,000 - 14,000 birds are being hunted for consumption and commercial sale every day. 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."

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.

It is significant to note that India, as a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), is duty bound to prevent this massacre, provide safe passage, as well as draw up appropriate action plans for the long-term conservation of this bird. In the recently concluded Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), of which India is the president for the next two years, the importance of CMS in conserving species, and especially in stopping bushmeat hunting, was repeatedly stressed.

In October this year, a group from Conservation India travelled to Doyang Reservoir in Wokha district of Nagaland to check out information that thousands of falcons were being hunted annually on the banks of the Doyang Reservoir during their passage through Nagaland. The trip confirmed our worst fears.


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