Author: Liam Taylor
In 2012 a small village of 8,000 residents in Nagaland, India became infamous for killing up to 15,000 migratory falcons a day. That’s all changed now.
Today, the Lotha Naga tribespeople of Pangti village host and protect millions of Amur falcons each year as they travel 22,000 kilometers from Siberia to areas of Africa including Somalia, Kenya and South Africa.
It’s believed to be the largest congregation of the exotic bird in the world, but a little over 7 years ago more than 70 groups of people were trapping and slaughtering the birds using fishing nets tied to trees to trap them. These birds would either be consumed as food or sold for as little 25 rupees per bird (less than $0.50).
Recognising the importance of protecting the birds and their potential as a tourist attraction, the Nagaland Government in cooperation with international NGOs began to provide remuneration to those actively engaged in protecting and providing education and awareness of the animal.
Residents quickly got on board as ‘Friends of the Amur Falcon', with the community-led Amur Falcon Roosting Areas Union setting up check posts and carrying out patrols since 2014. Ex-hunters now work as guides, boatmen, homestay owners and drivers for small tourist groups coming to see the birds. Not a single village member hunts the falcons any longer, making this one of the biggest conservation success stories in South Asia.
“I am a much happier man protecting the birds rather than killing them,” a former hunter-turned-conservationist told ABC news.
To celebrate the achievement, an Amur Falcon Conservation Week was held by the Nagaland government for the first time this year.
Subscribe to Positive Environment News
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.