Guwahati: Naga and Pangti, two Amur falcons, which were fitted with satellite chips, have flown back to Doyang in Nagaland from South Africa almost a year after they set off on their migration journey, tracked for the first time, by ornithologists.
Last year this time, the two birds and another Amur falcon Wokha were fitted with satellite tags to track their incredible route, hitherto unknown to ornithologists. Every year from October, Amur falcons start flying down to Doyang from Mongolia, Northern China and Southeastern Siberia to escape the harsh winter and to roost here before starting off on their journey to the warmer climes of South Africa. About a million Amur falcons come to Doyang to roost. While Naga and Pangti were able to make it to Doyang this year, Wokha, the female bird, couldn't.
Wokha's satellite track record showed she was still in South Africa. But it is also suspected she may have died or the tag may have fallen off. Naga's satellite track showed he flew over Senapati Churachandpur in Manipur, Aizwal in Mizoram, entered Bangladesh, flew over the Bay of Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa before flying over the Arabian Sea and then reached the Coast of Somalia. Naga then flew over Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and then entered Botswana. On his return journey, Naga flew over Somalia, the Arabian Sea, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, China, inner Mongolia and finally Nagaland on October 29. Pangti, also a female, followed almost the same route as Naga and reached Doyang on the same date.
"Naga and Pangti have returned to Nagaland after almost a year covering a distance of 22,000 km from Nagaland to South Africa and then from South Africa to Mongolia and Nagaland," said the Nagaland principal chief conservator of forests and head of the forest force, M Lokeswara Rao.
Since last year, the people of Doyang have stopped hunting Amur falcons. Credit should go to the efforts of the forest department, NGOs, village and church leaders for this change.
Rao said that apart from tracking the migration routes, the satellite tagging carries the message of conservation in Nagaland. "This is a proud moment. The satellite tagging has put Nagaland on the world map. People who were once hunters have helped preserve this species. Doyang is now abuzz with the success of this movement," Rao added.
The Times Of India, 4 Nov 2014