Manipur Chiuluan

1. First population estimation survey of Amur falcons in Manipur’s Chiuluan village.
2. Approximate count reveals over 1.41 lakh migratory birds currently roosting.
3. Conducted by Wildlife Explorers Manipur using drones, GPS devices, and telephoto cameras.

Imphal, Nov 12: In Manipur’s conflict-affected Tamenglong, the inaugural population estimation survey of Amur falcons in Chiuluan village has been successfully conducted, disclosing an approximate count of 1,41,274 migratory birds currently roosting in the area. Executed by 11 members of Wildlife Explorers Manipur (WEM), an animal lovers’ group in the state, the survey utilized drones, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, and telephoto cameras.

The census specifically focused on one of the six roosting sites in the Zeliangrong-Naga-dominated district, with additional sites identified as Bhalok, Matung, Puching, Punglam, and Duigailong, according to forest officials. The Rainforest Club Tamenglong (RCT) volunteers and Divisional Forest Office staff actively supported the survey. Khoyumthem Brajesh Kumar, the president of WEM, officially announced the survey results during the 8th Amur Falcon festival.

The primary objective of the survey was to gauge the number of birds roosting in Chiuluan village, serving as a preliminary initiative for a more comprehensive census of the Amur falcon population in the district in the future.

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Amur falcons, locally known as Akhoipuina or Kahoipuina in the Rongmei dialect, have once again migrated to Manipur, particularly in Tamenglong and adjacent Nagaland, from their breeding grounds in South Eastern Siberia and Northern China.

The birds typically roost for a month before continuing their journey towards the Southern and Eastern regions of Africa. Wildlife experts anticipate a brief stay in these areas before their return to breeding grounds. Amandeep, the Divisional Forest Officer of Tamenglong, has expressed intentions to conduct similar population surveys at other roosting sites in the district next year, following the success of this year’s survey.

Future plans include tagging two Amur falcons next year with the assistance of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to gain additional insights into their migratory patterns. Deputy Commissioner Angshim Dangshawa emphasized the significance of heightened awareness programs at the Amur falcon festival, ensuring the district’s residents unite to protect and conserve the Amur falcons during their migratory stay in Tamenglong.