One of the five Amur falcons, which were radio-tagged in Manipur, reached Africa after crossing the Arabian sea, says a Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist.
Five Amur falcons were radio-tagged in Manipur this year as part of the study on migratory birds by the state forest department in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun.
“A male Amur falcon, Chiulon, named after a village in Manipur’s Tamenglong district, has reached Somalia and went further crossing over Ethopia,” Dr Suresh Kumar of WII, Dehradun said in message on Wednesday.
Chiulon departed from Manipur on its non-stop flight on November 14 after spending a night in Tripura.
Later, the bird left western coast of India on November 17 morning along the Goa-Karnataka border.
Dr Suresh, who led a five-member WII team in satellite radio-tagging programme in Manipur, radio-tagged five Amur falcons including two male falcons at Puching village on October 31 and November 1 with the support of locals.
A senior forest official of the Tamenglong forest division, when contacted, said the radio-tagged pigeon size five birds were named as Puching, Phalong and Chiulon – all village names and Irang & Barak – names of rivers in Tamenglong.
Though Chiulon reached Africa, Puching and Phalong are yet to give data while Barak is still in and around the landscape of Puching village.
On the other hand, WII scientist Dr Suresh said ‘Irang’ has moved south to the Mizoram border.
Thousands of Amur falcons spend their summer at their breeding grounds in northern China and migrate to their wintering grounds in South Africa.
On the way, they stop in northeastern states, particularly Nagaland and Manipur in October and leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight to African countries over the Arabian sea.
The radio-tagging programme was started in Manipur since last year as part of a project to study the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route as India signs international agreement to conserve migratory birds of prey in March 2016.
On November 4, 2018 two falcons- Manipur and Tamenglong – named after the state of Manipur and Tamenglong district – were radio-tagged.
But Manipur was found killed four days after the release in the NE state while the contact with Tamenglong was lost after it reached Zambia in December, 2018.