IMPHAL, May 30 - The radio-tagged female Amur falcon, which passed through the Indian subcontinent in the first week of May after completing her winter sojourn by covering thousands of kilometres across African countries, has reached her breeding area in northern China.
Confirming this, R Suresh Kumar, scientist of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), told The Assam Tribune that the migratory bird arrived at her breeding grounds in northern China in the wee hours of May 25.
The bird covered a distance of about 1,20,000 km from her wintering grounds in South Africa to her breeding grounds in northern China after passing through her various roosting sites in India, including in the NE States, since she was radio-tagged three years ago.
�Longleng�, the female Amur falcon (Falcon amurensis) named after the Nagaland district, was radio-tagged in October, 2016, in Nagaland by WII scientists as part of a study on the flight route of these long-distance migratory birds and environmental patterns along the route, besides taking up a joint conservation effort of the local communities and the Forest Department.
The bird arrived in India in the first week of May after a four-day non-stop return passage from Somalia, flying at a speed of 45 km per hour from her winter sojourn in South Africa, and left North East India on May 6 for Myanmar on the way to her breeding grounds, Kumar said.
The WII scientist, who is currently monitoring the route of the migratory bird, said that this is the third time that Longleng had reached her breeding grounds since the tagging and it has been approximately 937 days (two years and seven months) of continuous tracking. �She will be at her steppe habitat for the next four months,� he added.
In the last two years, Longleng was tracked as having arrived at her breeding site on May 30 in 2017 and May 20 in 2018, Kumar pointed out.
Two more Amur falcons � �Tamenglong� (female) and �Manipur� (male) � were also tagged in the Tamenglong district of Manipur on November 4, 2018. Unfortunately, Manipur was found dead four days later, while the contact with Tamenglong was lost after she reached Zambia.
The WII scientist appreciated the continuous efforts of the local communities and Forest Department officials in both Manipur and Nagaland towards the conservation of Amur falcons.
Amur falcons spend their summers at their breeding grounds in northern China and later migrate to their wintering grounds in South Africa. On the way, they stop in the North Eastern States for food.