Amur falcons are the small raptors or birds of prey of the falcon family. Amur falcons are one of the 40 species that the falcon family has. Amur falcons are predominantly found in Siberia and Northern China, where these birds breed. Their breeding season is May to June. These birds have been named after the River Amur that forms border between Northeastern China and the Russian Far East.
During winter, these birds migrate in large numbers across India to reach Southern Africa.
These birds are aided by the strong west ward blowing winds above India (trade winds) during winter season. Hence, they fly at an altitude of 1000m. Because of the tendency of these birds to go long distances over the ocean while migrating, they are found in locations like Sweden, Italy, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and the United Kingdom.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has specified Amur falcons as the species is of Least Concern due to its extensive breeding and presence. However, these are being protected under Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
During the migration of birds over India, they are hunted for food in North Eastern part of the country.
Awareness Campaign by Manipur Government
Recently, the Manipur Government has launched an awareness campaign to protect the Amur Falcons. A few lakh Amur falcons visit the state every year and are most hunted bird in the state. These birds visit the state for almost 2 months. Under the campaign, the District Magistrates of Churachandpur and Senapati districts — T. Kirankumar and Pawan Yadav respectively have banned poaching, hunting and sale of the birds. The Magistrates have ordered that the violators will be punished under Sections 50, 51 of Manipur State Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Under the campaign, the state officials have fixed satellite tags on some of the birds. Amur falcons are also seen in Nagaland.