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Indian 'massacre' of protected Amur Falcons is killing at least 120,000 every year

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 November 2012

A shock report by 'Conservation India' has revealed the 'wanton killing' of the birds as they migrate from the eastern reaches of Siberia to southern Africa.

Report by Merinews - the largest citizen journalism news platform in India - dubbed the slaughter a 'shock to bird lovers'. Picture: africanraptors.org

'The birds are killed for consumption and for sale,' said a report in the Times of India.

'The Amur Falcons spend the day on transmission wires and descend to forested patches along the banks of water body to roost. Hunters set up huge fishing nets all over the roosting sites, where they are caught.'

The scale of the slaughter was revealed by 'Conservation India' during a monitoring exercise in October, said conservationist Ramki Srinivasan.

They describe an industrial scale 'mass killing' of the protected birds. 

'Thousands are caught in large nets in Nagaland during their migration. Traditional hunting has given way to modern ways of catching birds in large numbers,'' he warned.

'The migration is almost over for this year, we have to be alert for the next year. The nets have to be dismantled, concerned officers should be deployed to see that birds are not harmed and they safely reach South Africa.'

Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has written to the Indian minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan to demand action.

'BNHS is campaigning with 'Conservation India' to stop the mass killing of Amur Falcons,' said Srinivasan.

'Conservation India' has recommended sealing of the roosting place. Authorities can ban the trade of Amur falcon meat in big towns and create awareness about the legal consequences,' said the newspaper.

The falcons are - in theory - protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Another report by Merinews - the largest citizen journalism news platform in India - dubbed the slaughter a 'shock to bird lovers'.

'Hunters in Nagaland in northeast India kill every year at least 120, 000 Amur Falcons - a protected bird species, while they fly over the state during their yearly migration,' said the report.

The hunters 'know when it is the right time to make a kill and therefore, lay their nets close to the water reservoir during early morning or late evening, when the birds arrive in large numbers.

'An NGO from Bangalore headed over to the water reservoir to document the 'massacre' and they were shocked to see the ugly truth of how these hunters lay traps for these rare species, which are decreasing in number day by day. 

'There are several wildlife NGO's, which put their best feet forward to put a check on it, but they have been unsuccessful in it so far.

'With various endangered animals around the world being trapped and sold in the open market, it is time for the authorities to put a check upon such acts.

'As far as birds slaughtering and selling in the open market is concerned, the government of Nagaland needs to impose strict laws against the offenders'.

If the Nagaland government fails to act, the report stated, then  'appropriate actions' must be imposed from above.

The Siberian Times says: 

Congratulations to 'Conservation India' and especially Ramki Srinivasan for investigating and documenting this horrific illegal hunting of the protected Amur Falcons as they migrate from the eastern reaches of Siberia to southern Africa. 

The use of huge fishing nets to catch and massacre these helpless birds is outrageous. 

We hope, as Merinews demand,  that the authorities in Nagaland will act quickly and decisively to halt this abuse and if not that the Union minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan will not hesitate to use her powers to protect the Amur Falcons, as called for by the Bombay Natural History Society.

Comments (1)

120000! That's an insane number of birds caught! Is there an update on this, whether there have been enforcement in the following years?
Simin, Singapore
11/01/2015 02:03
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