IMPHAL, Nov 24 - A male Amur falcon, which was radio-tagged in Manipur, has reached Africa after crossing the Arabian Sea.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, in collaboration with the State Forest Department had radio-tagged it along with four other Amur falcons as part of a study, a WII scientist said.
�Chiulon� � the falcon named after a village in Manipur�s Tamenglong district � left the State on November 14 on a non-stop flight after spending one night in northeastern Tripura.
The bird crossed the western coast along the Goa-Karnataka border on November 17, said Dr Suresh Kumar of WII.
�Chiulon, which initially flew towards Ethiopia, came back to Somalia two days ago,� said Dr Suresh, who led a five-member WII team that radio-tagged five Amur falcons, including two males, at Puching village in Manipur on October 31 and November 1 with the support of the State Forest Department, Tamenglong district administration, Rainforest Club Tamenglong and local villagers.
The five radio-tagged pigeon-sized birds were named �Chiulon�, �Puching�, �Phalong� (all names of villages in Manipur), �Irang� and �Barak� (both names of rivers of Manipur).
Puching and Phalong are yet to transmit data while Barak is said to be still in Tamenglong district and Irang has moved towards Mizoram border.
The Amur falcons spend the summers in their breeding grounds in northern China and migrate to South Africa during winters.
The radio-tagging programme started in Manipur last year as part of a project to study the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route since India is a signatory to an international agreement to conserve migratory birds of prey.
En route to their wintering grounds, these birds enter the Northeastern States in October. They leave the region in November after having enough food for their non-stop flight.
Two falcons � �Manipur� and �Tamenglong� � named after the State and its Tamenglong district were radio-tagged on November 4 last year but �Manipur� died four days later and contact was lost with �Tamenglong� after it reached Zambia in December last year.