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Премия рунета 2017

Saker Falcon from Russia named Uchsin is heading to Tibet

01 december 2017
WWF Russia is tracking a breathtaking journey of one of the saker falcons from the first ever project on restoring this bird’s population.

The female Saker falcon (Falco cherrug) named Uchsin (Let’s fly in Altain language) is heading towards Tibet and Russian ornithologist follow its route through the signal of the GPS-tracker. Uchsin spent about a month in Mongolia near the Nairamdal Peak (4374 above sea level) and went to China. Having become familiar with the local high mountains the bird moved for hundreds kilometers to Gobi Desert and is heading toward Tibet Plateau at the moment. The ornithologist received its signal from Hami district in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China on October, 28th.  Uchsin also flew over the big city. Despite all the dangers, her journey is very successful at the moment.

“Flying across the high mountains, moving for hundreds kilometres through desserts proves that Uchsin, the young female Saker falcon, is well and healthy. We hope she will make it through the winter and get back to Russia, Republic of Altai, its native land” – says Igor Karyakin, head of the project, Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Sibecocentre NGO.
Trackers are placed on chicks.
(c) RCCN

This year the group of ornithologists tested the method of raising the eyasses (the chicks of Saker falcon) born in captivity in the nests of the wild pairs of Saker falcons. The Project was supported by Altai-Sayan Programme of WWF Russia and World Around You Foundation of the Siberian Health Corporation.

Uchsin was one of three young Saker falcons that had the trackers placed on this summer in Sailugemsky National Park, Republic of Altai. Tracking is traditional and safe method to study birds’ migration routes. The birds do not have problems flying and hunting while carrying the trackers. The ornithologists chose one bird from captivity and two native birds to put trackers. Unfortunately, one native chick was lately killed by an owl (Bubo bubo) and another one had its tracker broken. 

Tracking the route of Uchsin
(c) RCCN
“Russia's first project on restoring of the Saker falcon population by placing captive born chicks in the nests of wild birds proved to be successful. All ten chicks placed in the wild nests at the age of 20 days were easily “adopted” by their foster parents” - said Alexander Karnaukhov, senior coordinator of WWF Altai-Sayan Programme.

Uchsin is the only one that flies successfully and sends the signals. The bird turned out to be a fearless traveller. She left her nest on July 16th and headed towards a South-Eastern territory of Altay.  After that she flew to the mountains of Mongolia and returned back to Sailugem, covering the distance of more then 1,5 km in one month.

WWF and the experts of Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (RRRCN)  will consider to continue the project in 2018 in Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.

The number of Saker falcons in Russia has gone down dramatically since 2003: by 27% in Republic of Altai, 55% in Republic of Khakasia and 20% in Republic of Tyva (according to the statistics of Siberian Ecological Centre organization, Novosibirsk, Russia). Totally the numbers of the species went down by 26% for the period of 2003-2014. The new reintroduction method might be a new way to raising the genetic diversity of Saker falcon in Southern Siberia and eventually stabilize the population.

 

Restoration of Saker falcon's population by placing captive bred chicks into the nests of wild birds

For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer
Senior Project Coordinator