Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Airborne Amur Falcons ‘Phalong’, ‘Puching’ missing
IFP Bureau | First Published: November 19, 2019 01:07:40 am

Despite the efforts of the Wildlife Institute of India and forest department, no signals have so far been received from satellite transmitter tagged Amur Falcons ‘Phalong’ and ‘Puching’ since November 2.

However, the good news is that out of the five Amur Falcons tagged with satellite transmitters for tracing their flight pattern this year, ‘Chiulon’ in its non-stop flight has flown across India and is flying over the Arabian Sea.

Flight route of Chiulon on November 19, 2019

Officials of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and forest department tagged satellite transmitters to five Amur Falcons this year to study their flight route after migrating to Manipur in search of favourable climate in the winter season.

An official of the forest department told the Imphal Free Press that the missing signals from ‘Phalong’ and ‘Puching’ may not be because of poaching as the people have been made aware from last year. He observed that the rainfall and cloudy weather might have prevented the solar powered battery on the transmitters from functioning properly. 

In the meantime, after spending a night in Northeastern Tripura, ‘Chiulon’ commences its non-stop flight on November 14. ‘Chiulon’ left Manipur on November 12.

‘Chiulon’ left the western coast of India Sunday morning along the Goa-Karnataka border and has covered 750 km over the Arabian Sea as per latest report, said the official. He added that the male Amur falcon has been on his non-stop flight for nearly four days covering a distance of more than 3000 kms.

The official further told that the migratory bird is on its most arduous part of its migration which is a 2500 km oceanic crossing. The latest signals received from ‘Chiulon’ indicate that it is heading towards Somalia, he said.

The forest department official also expressed hope that ‘Chiulon’ will continue to give data and spread awareness about these incredible birds.

It is also said that the remaining two Amur Falcons, namely ‘Irang’ and ‘Barak’ are still in the peripheries of Tamenglong district. ‘Chiulon’ was among the first batch of Amur Falcons that reached Tamenglong around October 17. This must be the reason why the bird left ahead of the other satellite transmitter tagged Amur Falcons, the official added.

Last year on November 4, scientists of WII attached satellite transmitter on two Amur Falcons namely, ‘Manipur’ and ‘Tamenglong’. However, poachers had killed ‘Manipur’ four days after they were released on November 5.

‘Tamenglong’ did cross the Arabian Sea but its signal was also missing from December 14 with its last identified location at North Luangwa National Park in Zambia.

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