KOHIMA: The Amur Falcon, a Siberian raptor that travels one of the longest distances from home in eastern Russia and northeastern China to southern Africa every year after breeding season makes Nagaland home during November.
Pangti village in Wokha district, which is the chosen home of some 10,000 Amur falcons had emerged as a hunting ground for the locals.
"There are so many Amur falcons from October to November that if you throw a stone it will hit an Amur falcon," said Ziren Yanthan, a former Amur hunter of Mekokla village near Pangti.
"We used to lay nets and throw worms, which Amur falcons eat. As they descended to eat the worms, they got trapped," he said, adding that four pieces of Amur falcon meat costed as low as Rs 100 only two years ago.
So what changed the practice of hunting Amur falcons for food?
"There were posters all over Pangti and the neighbouring villages. Seminars were held to preach people about conserving the migratory bird. Slowly, people started realising their mistake and stopped hunting of Amur falcons," he said.
"Now people feed the Amur falcons but without the traps. Temporary watchtowers are built where birdwatchers from all over Nagaland and neighbouring states come to have a look at the famed falcon," Ziren said.