Amur Falcons

The recent mass killing of over 100,000 Amur falcons in India is drawing worldwide attention. The falcons breed in Siberia and fly thousands of miles across continents to reach their winter grounds in Africa.

Nagaland, India

During their October migration the birds stop at the Doyand reservoir in Wohka, Nagaland, in the far north-eastern part of the country, to rest, feed and gather strength for their journey.

Amur Falcons 5jpg
Capture nets

Capture nets

capture nets

Amur Falcons
Amur Falcons

Amur Falcons Amur falcons

Hunters there are hanging fishing nets around the roosting sites and catching 15,000 birds per day. They are kept alive but by the time they reach the meat market they’re either dead or dying. Plucked of their feather they’re smoked and then sold.


Bushmeat has become a serious business. The slaughter of the birds in such numbers is evidence that hunting which used to be only for domestic use within the village or family, is finding a national and international market. More birds are caught than can be consumed by the local villages. Vast numbers are trucked away to a distant market that has not yet been identified.

Halting the slaughter

Steps are being taken to halt the wanton killing. In October, the administrative head of the Wokha district issued a fresh order against hunting of the falcons (an earlier order existed though not thoroughly enforced). This order was carried in local newspapers. He also ordered the police to crack down and alerted all local community leaders to cooperate in stopping the slaughter.

Amur falcons6

Forest Officers of the district addressed the heads of local villages, council members and student bodies of Pangti, Sungro and Akhotso villages in Pangti (since most hunters are from Pangti, the village closest to the Doyang reservoir).

Amur falconsThe officials categorically stated that any ongoing trapping and killing of birds as per the DC order was a violation of the law and would not be accepted.

Amur Falcons Amur falcons Amur Falcons

Source: conservation india

Photographs taken Oct 21 & 22, 2012, by:Shashank Dalvi, Bano Haralu, Rokohebi Kuotsu, Ramki Sreenivasan.