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Премия рунета 2017

Uchsin Saker Falcon Who Took Part in Saker Falcon Restoration Project in Russia, Died in China

02 april 2018
The Female Saker Falcon who has been tracked by WWF Russia for months died in China killed by power line

The female Saker falcon (Falco cherrug) named Uchsin (Let’s fly in Altain language) was found dead in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Uchsin was a part of the first ever Russian project on resurrection of Altai colour morph of Saker falcon implemented by WWF Russia and partners. She had GPS tracker trapped to the back that had been sending scientists data about the bird’s whereabouts and habits. Uchsin was one of three young Saker falcons that had the trackers placed on them last summer in Republic of Altai in Russia close to Mongolian border.  

Igor Karyakin, Head of the Project, Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Sibecocentre NGO, said: Saker falcon suddenly stopped moving on the 1st of March 2018. We tracked the movement of the bird for tens of meters back and forth for several days. The signal was lost on the 6th of March. Our partner in China Professor Ma Ming drove thousand kilometers to search for the bird and found Uchsin dead near one of the power lines.
Uchsin found dead near power lines.
(c) Ma Ming

The ornithologists claim that the Saker falcon was affected by power line. A high voltage power line stretched over the site where the bird was found. Nearby, a giant pylon, its insulators missing, stood impassively, its circuits exposed to air. The experts discovered that Uchsin had serious leg and wing traumas. About a week she tried to move across the area and later died of hunger and exhaustion. 

China is a black hole that devour Russian Saker falcons from Altai-Sayan population. Even if all threats to Saker falcon in Russia disappear we’ll be watching Russian population of Saker falcon dying out until there threats for them in China such as power lines, poaching or use of pesticides for agriculture., says Chinese ornithologist Ma Ming in his blog.

Uchsin was a native chick of the pair of Saker falcons in the Republic of Altai, Russia (the area close to Mongolian border). Along with two other chicks she had a tracker placed last summer. Unfortunately the first trackers stopped sending signals and another chick with a tracker was killed by an owl right on the nest. Uchsin was the only one left with the tracker. The experts have been following the migratory rout of the bird for several months through the signal of the tracker. Uchsin spent 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 flew to Tibet Plateau. 

Russian falcons face threat when they migrate
(c) Ma Ming
Alexander Karnaukhov, Senior Coordinator, WWF Altai-Sayan Programme said: Unfortunately, we have lost several birds brought by wild birds for different reasons but WWF is planning to continue first Russia's first project on resurrection of the chicks of Saker falcon in the nests of wild birds this year. We’ll try to do all we can to save Russian population of the Saker falcon but it is clear that international cooperation is crucial.

In 2017 WWF Russian supported by the World Around You Foundation of the Siberian Health Corporation started the unique project on Saker falcon restoration in Altai-Sayan Ecoregion. Ten chicks from captivity all 20-days-old were placed into the nests of wild Saker falcons in different regions of Sothern Siberia, key falcon habitat in Russia. All chicks were successfully “adopted”, well fed and brought up by wild falcons regardless of their origin, colour and size. The project proved to be successful. 

First ever project to restore the the Altai population of the Saker falcon in Russia. (c) WWF Russia / I. Usanov

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