By Steve Boyes
Up until this year, an estimated 120,000 – 140,000 Amur falcons (Falco amurensis) were being slaughtered in a remote part of north-eastern India at this exact time each year. In 2012, Shashank Dalvi and Ramki Sreenivasan documented this shocking massacre as tens of thousands of migrating falcons congregate along the banks of the Doyang reservoir in Wokha district of Nagaland. Everyday thousands of beautiful Amur falcons were being caught in mist nets, plucked alive, skewered, and then smoked before transport to market for sale as a cheap source of protein. The global population of this record-breaking aviator and natural wonder would have been depleted had this slaughter in Nagaland been allowed to continue. This year no Amur falcons have been killed so far… [sic\.
See the blog on the massacre last year:
Flight of the little aviator…[sic\.
This accumulation of Amur falcons is the largest aggregation of these falcons along their vast migration route from Siberia through this gap in the Himalayas all the way to Somalia, Kenya and eventually South Africa. They cover this 22,000 kilometres round trip every year, undertaking the longest sea crossing of any raptor twice a year during their 4,000 km crossing of the Indian Ocean between Africa and India. This amazing transoceanic flight can takes weeks and includes many long nights flying and navigating in the dark. Truly extraordinary! A bird that weighs about 150g has enough strength, stamina and bodily reserves to fly more than half way around the world. This is an achievement for life itself and should be celebrated wherever it is encountered. It is a wonderful fact that there are other species that consider the entire planet to be their natural habitat. More....