An Amur falcon called Manipur was shot dead on November 2018 and its partner Tamenglong was last spotted in Zambia.
The birds were named so by Tamengling district magistrate (DM) Armstrong Pame who has a knack for naming birds after places.
Locally known as Akhuaipuina, the Amur falcon is a migratory bird that travels thousands of kilometres from China to Africa.
It makes a halt of 45 days in the Northeast for roosting and colonising as the climatic condition here is favourable.
A locally found insect also attracts the birds since they get sufficient protein for continuing their flight to Africa.
“I have taken a pledge to protect each and every Amur falcon which will arrive here in Manipur this year,” reported News 18 quoting Pame.
“I was heartbroken when I got to know that my friend from China was shot dead in my state,” he further said adding that it left him and many others “disturbed”.
Putting a ban on hunting of the birds, Pame asked the residents of 29 villages to deposit their shooting arms (air guns etc) by October 25.
He informed that the guns will be returned only when the birds leave for the second leg of their journey to Africa, or after November 30.
“An awareness campaign in the villages has also been initiated and the response is very good,” he added.
He also issued a letter to the villagers, in which he said the hunting/killing/destruction of wildlife in punishable.
He said even if one kills the migratory birds Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) in any way for food or possession or otherwise will be a punishable offence.
“The offenders will be punished under section 50 and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972,” Pame added in the letter.
“There is a total ban on hunting, catching, killing and selling of Amur falcon by anyone in the district with immediate effect,” he added.
DFO Arun RS infomred that the forest department has planned to tag five more falcons this year.
A name keeping competition will also be organised for naming the five birds.
“We are emotionally connected to our winged guests. When they leave, we actually miss them,” the DFO added.