As you read this, one of nature’s greatest spectacles is unfolding in the breathtakingly beautiful North-Eastern state of Nagaland. Thousands of Amur falcons, small birds of prey, are congregating at the Doyang reservoir in Wokha district, having flown thousands of kilometres from Siberia. This is their annual stop at the reservoir; they rest and roost there before flying off to their final destination—South Africa. In total, ornithologists believe, these falcons clock almost 22,000km of flying time in a year.
Every year, then, the Doyang reservoir witnesses the single largest congregation of Amur falcons anywhere in the world.
But it wasn’t always so.
It was in October 2012 that Bano Haralu, now 52, a managing trustee of the Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust, led a small group of conservationists, including colleague Rokohebi Kuotsu, Shashank Dalvi, a research associate at Bengaluru’s Centre for Wildlife Studies, and Ramki Sreenivasan of Conservation India, to the Doyang reservoir to check whether large-scale hunting was taking place in the area. “I first heard about the Amur falcons while visiting the Doyang reservoir during a bird survey trip in the last week of March 2010.................Read more