Tracking the Oriental Pratincole – Update #19

SHE is heading south and is now in South Sumatra. SEC has moved even further north and is within the Tonle Sap Lake Biosphere Reserve. SEP seems to have headed back north in Sri Lanka. And still no signals at all from SUN (since 6 August).

Figure 1. Migration tracks of four satellite-tagged Oriental Pratincoles as of 25th October, 2019.

Oriental Pratincoles on the move

Homeward Bound!?

Leg Flag SHE (PTT 83595)

Since the last report, SHE has travelled 1500km south and is now approximately 50km north-east of Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra. 

South Sumatra has a population of 8.4 million with mining, agriculture and various manufacturing and processing industries driving the economy of this region.

At the time of this report SHE is 1700km from its original breeding ground by the Tonle Sap Lake and 2500km from its Anna Plains release site.

Map showing flight path of Oriental Pratincole, SHE, from Cambodia to South Sumatra, 25th October 2019
Figure 2. Oriental Pratincole, SHE's South Sumatra stopover following a 1500km flight from Vietnam as of 25th October, 2019.
Map of Pambelang, South Sumatra showing location of Oriental Pratincole, SHE, 25th October 2019
Figure 3. Close-up of SHE's location 50km north east of Palembang, South Sumatra as of 25th October, 2019.

Tonle Sap Lake Visit

SEC (PTT 83596)

In contrast to SHE, SEC has headed north again and is now within the Tonle Sap Lake Biosphere Reserve.

Map of Tonle Sap Reserve, Cambodia, showing location of ORiental Pratincole SHE on 25th October 2019
Figure 4. Oriental Pratincole, SEC's location in Tonle Sap Lake Biosphere Reserve, Cambodia as of 25th October, 2019.

Almost given up!

With input from Chung-Yu Chiang

Leg Flag SUN (PTT 83591)

No signals at all from SUN since the 1st September. There is still a slim possibility that signals may return during southward migration.

Figure 5. Still no accurate readings since 1st September, 2019, Taiwan. Pinned area marks probable location.

Little to report

With input from Subbu Sabramanya

Leg Flag SEP (PTT 83593)

Data continues to be scarce for SEP with the last transmission being on the 15th October near Vattappala in the Mullaitivu District, Sri Lanka.

Map of Sri Lanka, showing last accurate location for Oriental Pratincole, SEP, 15th October 2019
Figure 6. Last accurate location reading for Oriental Pratincole, SEP, in Vattappala, Sri Lanka, 15th October, 2019..

Download a PDF copy of this report – Oriental Pratincole Satellite Tracking Report 19


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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