Conservation India says that during the peak of migration, 12,000 to 14,000 birds are captured each day on their passage over Nagaland, a remote, mountainous state that borders Burma.
The Bangalore-based group says one of the more disturbing examples of poaching is the capture of raptors, using nets set up near lakes and reservoirs to trap the birds when they come to roost at night or as they leave in the morning.
“This is probably the single largest congregation of Amur falcons recorded anywhere in the world, and it is tragic that they meet such a fate,” the report said.
The falcons arrive in huge numbers during October, en route from Siberia to their final destinations in Somalia, Kenya and South Africa.
It’s believed the birds’ encounter with the Indian poachers may be the most dangerous part of their annual 14,000-mile migration.
Amur Falcons are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and the international Convention on Migratory Species, of which India is a signatory.
Conservation India urges Nagaland officials to enforce laws protecting the birds, and to work with local populations to prevent the killings.