Indian states ban guns to protect Amur Falcons


Nets and catapults have been confiscated in the states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur in north-east India as a precaution to safeguard migrant Amur Falcons. Forest officers in these states have also banned the use of guns.

Huge numbers of the falcons stop off in India each autumn before crossing the Arabian Sea and continuing to southern Africa, after spending the summer on their breeding grounds in Russia and China.

Many thousands of Amur Falcons pass through north-east India on migration (Jamie MacArthur).

They used to be harvested on a shocking scale, with an estimated 12,000 falcons killed daily during peak migration in 2012. Since then, education and engagement programmes have proved successful in changing villagers' attitudes and led to a drastic reduction in the number of birds killed.

Local people have realised the importance of Amur Falcons for tourism, with the birds now celebrated rather than slaughtered. The village of Pangti in Nagaland is known as the 'falcon capital of the world' for the annual migration event. People come from far and wide to see the falcons covering trees and rooftops before they depart after a few weeks building up their fat reserves.