Dimapur, Nov. 4 (EMN): Public of Wokha received rare accolade for their endeavour towards conservation of Amur Falcons thereby achieving zero killing of the migratory birds each year since 2013.
This was conveyed during an awareness programme on Amur Falcon organised by Forest department, Wokha division, on November 3 in DC’s conference hall, Wokha.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), SP Tripathi, has termed Nagas as a wonderful people well known for their hospitality but stated that their reputation in terms of hunting was not good. He, however, stated that Nagaland has earned fame on an international scale and subsequently declared as the “Falcon capital of the world” because of the successful conservation of Amur falcons since 2013.
He has attributed it to excellent efforts and cooperation by the Lotha community especially the Pangti people on whose lands the Amurs roost as well as co-ordination received by the Forest Department in the highest form from the district administration and police and other NGOs.
While lamenting that adequate support could not be given to the people due to lack of funds, he has assured to continue extending assistance in whatever way possible.
Chairperson of the programme and Divisional Forest Office (DFO), Zuthunglo Patton, welcomed the gathering and requested the participants to keep an open mind and to prepare themselves to take back and implement all the learning from the programme.
A comprehensive power point presentation was made by Dr. Prabhat Kumar, DFO Doyang Plantation Division, wherein he described the characteristics and behaviour of the Amur falcons, how the conservation of the migratory birds began, and highlighted all the activities undertaken by the State forest department, village councils, NGOs like AFRAU, WTI, Natural Nagas etc., thereby leading to zero killing of Amur falcons in Wokha district each year since 2013.
Deputy Commissioner, Wokha, Wezope Kenye, spoke on the successful conservation of Amur falcons and encouraged the people to continue the good work. Chairman of Lotha Hoho, Mhao Humtsoe, said Amur Falcons had been coming to Wokha since ancestral times, adding the number increased after the Doyang dam was built. He congratulated the forest department and all the stakeholders involved especially Pangti village for giving a safe passage to the migratory birds and for bringing good name not only to the Nagas in general but also to the Lothas in particular.
A member of Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union (AFRAU) appraised the gathering about the development taking place at the roosting site in Pangti. He said that the number of Amur falcons arriving at Pangti has increased to lakhs and welcomed everyone to come and witness the largest congregation of Amur falcons in the world.
Also speaking in the programme, chairman of the Pangti village council, Jenithung, proclaimed with pride that not even a single bird has been killed in Pangti. He has requested all the villages present to ensure zero killing in their respective villages because it is not only ‘Pangti pride’ but “Naga pride.’ He further stressed on the importance of developing the road connectivity, infrastructure of Pangti village and hospitality services as many international tourists visit the area apart from the local and national tourists.
The sharing and interactive session was followed by screening of two documentaries “The Hunt” by BBC and “Nagaland is changing but…” by Gurmeet Sapal and produced by the Nagaland Forest Department.
Representatives from the district administration, Lotha Hoho, Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union (AFRAU), Natural Nagas, and chairmen, Head GB, and VDB secretaries of 12 villages namely Pangti, Okotso, Wokha, New Wokha, Longsa, Longsachung, Aree Old, Aree New, Riphyim Old, Riphyim New, Changsu Old and Changsu New attended the programme.
The programme began with an invocation delivered by Zurenthung Lotha, Forester I and Deacon of Wokha Village Baptist Church.
In acknowledgement of their untiring efforts in protecting the Amur falcons, the Pangti Village Council and the AFRAU were presented with solar lamps to help them in their patrolling duties at night at the roosting site. The programme concluded with the vote of thanks delivered by Lansothung Lotha, RFO Doyang, and benediction by Maya Lotha, UDA Doyang.