Tracking the Oriental Pratincole – Update #4

Meet-up on the mainland

Oriental Pratincole in flight
Oriental Pratincole in flight

Three of the four Oriental Pratincoles are now in Mainland Southeast Asia, SEC and SHE in Cambodia, and SEP in Thailand. SUN is now in East Malaysia. While SHE remains in the Tonle Sap Lake floodplains, SEC, SEP and SUN are currently located in areas of intensive agricultural use.

Figure 1. OP Update 4
Figure 1. Migration tracks of the four satellite-tagged Oriental Pratincoles as of March 23rd, 2019.
Table 1. OP Update 4
Table 1. Distance travelled on migration since capture in mid-February, 2019.

Oriental Pratincoles on the move

Across the border

Leg Flag SUN (PTT 83591)

Between the 13th and 23rd March, SUN has travelled approximately 570km and is now in the Sri Aman District of East Malaysia, 26km west of the town of Sri Aman (Malay translation – “Town of Peace”), which is situated on the Lupar River.  This District consists of highly modified, agricultural land trading in palm oil, rubber, pepper and timber.

This location is approximately 2540km from the release site at 80 Mile Beach in North West Australia.

Figure 2a. SUN - OP Update 4
Figure 2a. SUN's migration path from South Kalamatan, Borneo, to the Sri Aman district, East Malaysia.
Figure 2b. SUN - OP Update 4
Figure 2b. SUN's location in Sri Aman, East Malaysia as of March 23rd, 2019.

A big push further north

Leg Flag SEP (PTT 83593)

In our last report, SEP was located in the populated Pati Regency, Central Java, Indonesia on the 12th March. 

Since then, SEP has flown approximately 2600km north from this location to the Khan Thale So District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province of Thailand (Figure 3a.). 

Figure 3a. SEP - OP Update 4
Figure 3a. SEP's migration route from the Pati Regency of Central Java, Indonesia to the Khan Thale District of Thailand as of March 23rd, 2019.

Again, SEP is in an area dominated by agricultural use, 3.5km west of the town of Nong Suang Figure 3b.).  

Figure 3b. SEP - OP Update 4
Figure 3b. Oriental Pratincole, SEP, in agricultural land 3.5km from Nong Suang, Kham Thale So District, Thailand as of March 23rd, 2019.

Still roosting on Tonle Sap Lake

Leg Flag SHE (PTT 83595)

Four weeks in and SHE continues to inhabit the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, Cambodia and seems to be utilising a relatively small area available to it (Figure 4.). We are yet to see if this bird will remain here to breed.

Figure 4. SHE - OP Update 4
Figure 4. Oriental Pratincole, SHE's location using grassland and forest habitat in the Roniem Forest near Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.

A short trip into town

SEC (PTT 83596)

When we last caught up with SEC on the 15th of March, it was positioned 23km off the coast near the Vietnam-Cambodian border (Figure 5a.).

Figure 6. OP Update 3
Figure 5a. Oriental Pratincole, SEC's location, 20km off the border of Vietnam and Cambodia as of March 15th, 2019.

Five days later, SEC flew a further 190km north and is now located 40km north-east of Phnom Penh in the Prey Veng Province, Cambodia (Figures 5b. and 5c.). This province is considered the “great green belt” of Cambodia, where agriculture and aquaculture dominate and less than 4% of the original native vegetation remains.   

SEC is approximately 3840km from the release site at 80 Mile Beach in North West Australia. 

Figure 5b. SEC - OP Update 4
Figure 5b. Oriental Pratincole, SEC's current location, 40km north-east of Phnom Penh, Prey Veng Province, Cambodia, March 23rd, 2019.
Figure 5c. SEC - OP Update 4
Figure 5b. Close-up of Oriental Pratincole, SEC's movements near Phnom Penh, Prey Veng Province, Cambodia, March 23rd, 2019.

Download a PDF copy of this report – Oriental Pratincole Satellite Tracking Report Number 4


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.
Nyangumarta logo
Kara Jarri Rangers logo
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.
Image credits:
Book cover for A Shorebird Flying Adventure

A Shorebird Flying Adventure

Available Now

Join Milly on her microlight and discover how amazing and awesome migratory shorebirds are!

Milly Formby is a zoologist and illustrator of the children’s book A Shorebird Flying Adventure. Available now through CSIRO Publishing.

Like this post? Share the shorebird-nerdiness on social!

More posts you might like...