Tracking the Oriental Pratincole – Update #14

Two staying & two going

While SEP and SUN remain on their chosen breeding sites, it seems that our Cambodian birds SHE and SEC may have completed the breeding for the season and have begun moving south.

Figure 1. OrPr Report 14
Figure 1. Migration tracks of four satellite-tagged Oriental Pratincoles as of 16th June, 2019.
Table 1. Distance travelled on migration since capture in mid-February, 2019.

Oriental Pratincoles on the move

Hanging in there

Leg Flag SUN (PTT 83591)

In terms of accurate location data, SUN, (or rather the PTT attached to SUN), continues to keep us guessing, making it difficult for us to pinpoint an area to organise a search. But as has been the case for several weeks now, the less accurate readings we have been receiving continue to show that SUN is still in this area and once the data is adequately analysed we are confident that the information will confirm our beliefs.

Figure 2. OrPr Report 14
Figure 2. SUN's approximate location Hualien County, Taiwan as of 6th June, 2019. Note the location of 2018 breeding location recorded by Chung-Yu Chiang.

Settled in Karnataka
With input from Subbu Sabramanya

Leg Flag SEP (PTT 83593)

After 55 days, SEP seems quite settled and continues to make local movements at its chosen breeding site. It will be interesting to see how long SEP will stay in this area and, after breeding, its southern migration route.

Figure 3. OrPr Report 14
Figure 3. Breeding site location in Heggur Villages, Bagalkot District, Karnataka, India of SEP as of 16th June. 2019.

Moving on

Leg Flag SHE (PTT 83595)

Around 30th May, after 97 days at its Tonle Sap Lake location, data shows that SHE started making moves south. From around 2nd June SHE has been in Prey Veng Province, 170km south east of its breeding site. SHE’s current position is less than 20km from SEC’s (probable) breeding site and as mentioned previously, Prey Veng Province – the “great green belt” of Cambodia, with its floodplains and fertile soils – is likely to be prime habitat for the Oriental Pratincole.

Figure 4. OrPr Report 14
Figure 4. Oriental Pratincole, SHE's location in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia, 170km south of its breeding site as of 16th June, 2019.

Down by the river

SEC (PTT 83596)

After approximately 70 days in its Prey Veng location, with breeding likely to have occurred, SEC made its initial move south on 28th May.  From around 30th May SEC has been located approximately 90km south east of its Prey Veng location, in the considerably smaller Svay Rieng Province, less than 20km from the Vietnam boarder. 

Interestingly Svay Rieng is considered the poorest province in Cambodia, due to the poor quality land, reportedly due to “American carpet bombing” during the Vietnam War, destroying the forests and creating a “cratered countryside”. SEC seems to be content staying close to the Waiko River.

Figure 5. OrPr Report 14
Figure 5. Oriental Pratincole, SEC's location in Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia, 90km south of its breeding location in Prey Veng Province as of 15th June, 2019.

Download a PDF copy of this report – Oriental Pratincole Satellite Tracking Report Number 14


Clive Minton

The extensive and expensive satellite tracking program we have set up in NWA has only been possible through the efforts and generosity of a large number of people and organizations. It is difficult to know where to start with the formal acknowledgements so I will list them – but not in any particular order of priority.

  1. The members of the AWSG NWA 2019 Wader and Tern Expedition and similar NWA expeditions in previous years, are particularly thanked for their efforts in the field in catching, banding and deploying transmitters on a range of species.
  2. Landowners are especially thanked for permission to go onto their property to enable us to catch various species in order to deploy the satellite transmitters. In particular we thank Anna Plains Station for giving us the freedom to roam over large areas of grazed grassland when counting and catching target species.
  3. AWSG acknowledges the Yawuru People via the offices of Nyamba Buru Yawuru Limited for permission to catch birds on the shores of Roebuck Bay, traditional lands of the Yawuru people.
  4. AWSG acknowledges the Karajarri and Nyangumarta people for permission to catch birds to be marked for this project on the shores of 80 Mile Beach, traditional lands of the Karajarri and Nyangumarta.
  5. The cost of the satellite transmitters, which cost around $5000 each, and the satellite downloading costs (around $1000-1500 per month) have been met by a variety of sources. Private individuals (Charles Allen and Doris Graham) have made most generous individual contributions. Kate Gorringe-Smith and her team of artists involved in The Overwintering Project made a large, generous donation from funds raised during their various public exhibitions. The annual NWA Expedition members, collectively, also provided significant funds each year.
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Grace Maglio
Grace began working in conservation in the late 1990’s, but it wasn’t until she stopped in Broome halfway into a trip around Australia in 2013, that she discovered migratory shorebirds. She was spellbound and has been promoting their conservation ever since.
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