Target: Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan
Goal: End the annual massacre of the Amur Falcon which is protected by law
The Amur Falcon has one of the longest migratory bird routes in the world, covering 15,000 miles a year as it travels from Siberia to South Africa. The northeast mountainous region of India known as Nagaland is one site along the migration route where the falcons have long been known to stop. When night comes, flocks of tens of thousands of birds roost in the forest – an area where somewhere between 12,000 and 14,000 falcons are murdered every day.
Large, permanent fishing nets are placed over all of the popular roosting sites by hunters, which entangle the birds for the whole of a two-week period. Sixty to seventy hunting groups a day participate in the mass slaughter during this period. Some birds are eaten fresh, but many of the captured are kept alive in mosquito nets and baskets before being shipped to a variety of markets. Those that do not survive are still sold after being plucked and smoked. With 12,000-14,000 birds killed during peak migration, the total number of these falcons being killed every year lies between 120,000 and 140,000.
One of the foremost issues with this activity is that the falcons are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Moreover, India is a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species. International law therefore dictates that the government is required to stop the slaughter immediately and allow for the safe migration of this species through implementation of long-term conservation plans. Demand that the necessary action be taken for the protection of this species.
Dear Jayanthi Natarajan,
As Minister of Environment and Forests, you are undoubtedly aware of the terrible practice which has been exposed to be taking place every year in Nagaland. The annual tradition – a massacre of thousands of Amur Falcons – is not only an extremely harmful activity which causes a great decrease in the population of the species, but is in direct violation of laws protecting the bird.
It is your duty to see that immediate action is taken by the Indian government, particularly due to the country’s status as both signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species and president of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Please ensure that the nets being placed over the birds roosting areas are removed and that a thorough plan for ensuring their safe migration through the region is both created and enforced.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andre Botha