Against the backdrop of the recent episode of hunting of Amur Falcon at Finch Corner, the Ukhrul district magistrate on Thursday declared a total ban on hunting, catching, killing and selling of wildlife in the district with immediate effect. The district magistrate then directed the Village Authorities of Hatha, Ramva/Lambui and Shangshak villages to strictly monitor the implementation of the order in their respective jurisdictions.
Issuing a stringent warning to those who indulge in illegal hunting of wildlife, it warned that “In case of any reports of violation, the concerned SDO/SDM shall take up appropriate actions in accordance with the existing law, and in consultation with DFO, Ukhrul.”
It may be mentioned that on 3 November, some video clips that captured a group of birds (identified as Amur Falcon) fluttering in the sky, were widely shared on social media platforms. The videos were accompanied by captions that identified the spot as Finch Corner and alerted the authorities concerned about the migratory birds being hunted down by some locals using pellet guns and catapults.
“Any form of hunting/killing/destruction of wildlife (including migratory bird Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) locally known as ‘Langthik’, for food or possession or otherwise is a punishable offence under sections 50 and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and that these long-distance migratory birds have been sighted in Ukhrul since the month of October, 2020 taking a detour in their international sojourn, and found feasting on the long-winged termites that come out from earthholes in Hatha, Ramva (Lambui), Finch Corner, and Shangshak areas,” stated the order.
The district magistrate further directed the public against committing wildlife crimes and violation of the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and added that the order was issued for strict compliance by one and all with immediate effect.
It continued that there was a likelihood of the visiting birds roosting in the district till the end of November, 2020 which is considered a crucial period in the life cycle of Amur Falcons. “And there is a need to maintain ecological balance for the harmonious co-existence of different organisms and their environment in which the migratory birds are great preservers of ecosystems adding much value to our interdependent world,” it said.
Earlier on 2 November, an official team of Ukhrul Forest Division reached out to the denizens of the district, especialy the locals of Finch Corner areas with an appeal to them to stop hunting or killing of the seasonal winged visitors in the district.
“With the coming of winter season, many migratory birds are visting the hills of the Tangkhuls. Amur Falcon is one of them that is here for a short period. During their brief stay here, let us all welcome this bird and not chase it away,” the forest team announced on a PA system as they moved around in a vehicle.
Maintaining that Tamenglong district and neighbouring Nagaland have shown an exemplary disposition in conserving the migratory bird and honouring it through festivals in its name, the forest team urged the district’s denizens for a positive change of mindset towards wilflife.
“But then, if anyone is found violating this directive, and killing wild animals and birds, stringent actions would be initiated against them as per the laws,” it warned.