Pangti: Amur Falcon Capital of the World

Amur Falcon
Image via Wikimedia Commons (Shaji.theertham)

Pangti is a village located close to the Doyang reservoir in the Wokha district of Nagaland, a northeastern state in India. Despite its size, this village has gained global recognition for its contribution to the conservation of falcons, earning it the title of the “Falcon Capital of the World.”

The Amur falcon, a bird of prey belonging to the falcon family, breeds in the northern regions of Siberia and China. However, during the winter season, they migrate towards the warmer climate of southern Africa, passing through India en route. These birds have been making this annual journey for centuries, and certain areas in India’s northeastern region have become important stopovers for them.

Let’s explore the reasons behind Pangti’s unique distinction and the efforts made by its residents to protect and promote falcons.

Pangti
Image via Flickr (Shaji.theertham)

Significance of the Amur Falcon migration

The largest roosting site for Amur falcons in India is located in Nagaland, specifically in the village of Pangti in the Wokha district. This area is commonly referred to as the Amur Falcon Roosting Area Union, as it is where a significant number of these birds gather to roost.

The falcon’s migration is popular among the birding community due to the sheer size of the flock. Despite their small size, falcons are incredibly strong fliers and travel a roundtrip of at least 20,000 km each year, migrating from their cold breeding grounds to warmer climates in Africa where food is abundant.

One of the most impressive aspects of their migration is their ability to fly over the Arabian Sea for long periods of time, feeding on insects in the air. Fortunately, their migration coincides with the dragonfly migration, providing a steady food source.

In northeast India, falcons are known to visit areas around the Doyang river dam in Pangti village in the Wokha district of Nagaland, as well as the Tamenglong district in Manipur. In Assam, the Dima Hasao district serves as an isolated roosting site for these remarkable birds.

Pangti 2
Image via Flickr (Shaji.theertham)

The Conservation Efforts in Pangti

Pangti was previously known for the hunting of Amur falcons, but it has since shifted its focus to conserving these birds through a conservation movement. In the past, a large number of federally protected Amur falcons were brutally hunted by the local Naga tribes during their roosting period near the Doyang River.

The local residents have implemented several conservation efforts to protect the falcons and promote biodiversity. One of the most significant initiatives undertaken by the Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation (NW&BC) is the creation of the Amur Falcon Roosting Conservation Reserve. The reserve, spread over 10 hectares of land, provides a safe and secure nesting ground for the falcons.

The NW&BC has also established community-managed conservation areas, where residents work together to conserve the biodiversity of the region. These areas are managed by local communities, who receive training and support from the NW&BC.

The residents of Pangti have also worked to raise awareness about the importance of falcon conservation. They have organized several events and campaigns, including the Amur Falcon Festival, which aims to educate people about the significance of the falcons and the need to protect them.

Pangti
Image via Flickr (Shaji.theertham)

The Future of Amur Falcon Conservation

Despite the success of its conservation efforts, Pangti still faces several challenges in protecting its falcon population. Climate change, habitat loss, and poaching are some of the threats that the falcons face and the local residents must remain vigilant in their efforts to protect them.

To address these challenges, the NW&BC has implemented several measures, including the installation of GPS tracking devices on the falcons to monitor their migration patterns and identify potential threats. The organization has also partnered with researchers from around the world to conduct studies on the falcons’ behavior and ecology, providing valuable insights into their conservation.

The local residents also continue to raise awareness about the importance of falcon conservation, educating visitors and local communities about the need to protect these birds. The success of Pangti’s conservation efforts has inspired other villages in Nagaland to undertake similar initiatives, creating a ripple effect that has contributed to the conservation of falcons in the region.

Ideal time to visit Panti

The ideal time to visit Pangti is from November to February, but the highest number of Amur falcons can be spotted in mid-October around the village feasting on insects before continuing on their migratory journey.

Amur Falcon 1 e1681763047431

How to Reach Pangti

By Air:

Dimapur Airport, located approximately 59 kilometers away, is the closest airport. It is well-connected to major cities such as Kolkata, Delhi, Patna, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad, with regularly scheduled flights.

By Train:

The closest railway station is Dimapur. It is well-connected by regular trains to other major cities across the country.

By Road:

Traveling by road from Dimapur to Wokha is a delightful experience, as the journey is as smooth as a gentle breeze. The distance between the two places is roughly 125 kilometers, and it takes a little over four hours to cover the distance by road.

Conclusion

Pangti’s journey to becoming the Falcon Capital of the World is a story of hope and inspiration. The villagers have shown that community-led conservation initiatives can be successful, even in the face of significant challenges. Their efforts have not only benefited the falcons but also the local community and the region’s biodiversity.

Pangti serves as a model for other communities worldwide, demonstrating that by working together, we can protect and preserve our natural heritage for future generations. The success of Pangti’s conservation efforts is a reminder that we must all take responsibility for the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity and work towards creating a more sustainable future for all.

Indian travelers need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) before entering the state.
(Details on how to obtain an ILP are discussed in one of our earlier articles)

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