From A Reporter
SHILLONG, Nov 9: The Second Amur Falcon festival scheduled to be held at Tyrso Village, Ri Bhoi district is an attempt to protect the migratory birds that can bolster wildlife tourism, besides acknowledging these swamp species that rejuvete the farming community of being free the tormenting pest in the fields.
The two-day festival to be organised by the Ri Bhoi-based Tyrso Valley Wildlife Protection Society will kick start from November 11-12. The objective of the festival is to preserve, protect the environment and to conserve the wildlife.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Julius Dorphang MLA Mawhati constituency said, “The migratory birds are like a blessing for the people of the region because they don’t feed on the vegetation or crops of the people however they would instead eat all the insects and pests in the fields bring about an ecological balance.”
Stressing that tourism is one channel for generating employment, he said, “Tourism is very important because through the coming of tourist it can generate employment for the local villagers and hence improving their livelihood.”
He informed that despite hundreds of tourists visiting the place to witness the migratory birds there are no proper accommodations for them like a place to stay etc.
“The birds had started migrating to the region since 2013, and last year we did our level best to create awareness to make the people understand the importance in preserving and protecting the birds and not to cause any harm to them through hunting.”
Dorphang informed that state government earlier this year has also sanctioned Rs. 5 crore for construction of a road stretching 9 km leading to Mawlasi village.
Tyrso Valley Wildlife Protection Society (TVWPS) secretary Alos Nongpoh said the purpose of constituting the Society last year was to curb the illegal hunting of the migratory birds and dears located in the region.
In this connection he said, “We had conducted various awareness programme and this year we had already completed conducting 6 awareness programme in Tyrso vally region.”
Admitting that the Society was uble to adequate protection to the migratory birds last years, while alleging that it was due to the increasing inflow of people from Jaintia hills who had come to the area where the birds are located to hunt for their meat.
He, however, said this year through with the increased number of awareness programme conducted by the Society along with a joint Community involvement the hunting of the migratory birds has drastically been reduced.
According to him, the forest department has also provided around 7 volunteers to check and put a stop on the illegal hunting of wildlife in the area.
“We hope that through this festival a message will spread across the state to protect the birds and stop hunting and we anticipate that soon this place will be edged on the Map of India as a Tourist hot spot,” he said. He added, “We expect that with the coming of these birds the government will assist in fincial aids especially in constructing viewpoints.”
He informed that more than 100 tourist from different parts of India on October 31 and November 1 had visited the place to witness the migratory birds.
He said the Amur Falcon had migrated to the place since October 5, and around 15, 000 of them migrates to the place each day. The main sanctuary for the migratory of the birds is located at Umrup village.