Thursday, May 26, 2022
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From Chilika To China – Black-Winged Stilt Flies Miles

A BNHS-tagged bird sighted in Ulungur lake, Xinjiang


NatConnect Foundation

BNHS tagged the bird in 2017 at Chilika as part of its bird research and it is interesting to see the Stilt travelling all the way to Ulungur lake

MUMBAI: Flying from Chilika lagoon in Odisha, a black-winged Stilit which was tagged by BNHS, has recently landed in China.

BNHS tagged the bird in 2017 at Chilika as part of its bird research and it is interesting to see the Stilt travelling all the way to Ulungur lake, Xinjiang, Chinna, researchers said.

BNHS Deputy Director Dr S Balachandran said the organisation received an email from a bird observer Quan Yi and on checking the colour code on the tag, we confirmed that we only tagged it.

In a tweet, BNHS said: “Chilika to China - Widely distributed and largely resident throughout the subcontinent, this Black-winged Stilt tagged in Chilika lake, Odisha in 2017 by the BNHS team has recently been sighted in Ulungur lake, Xinjiang, China.”

Chilika Lake is India’s first wetland to get Ramsar Site tag way back in 1971 and it attracts about a million birds annually. Spread acrtoss over 1,100 sq km, the lagoon is fed by some 52 rivers and rivulets.

Some black-winged Stilts tagged earlier by BNHS in Rajasthan have also been recovered from Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Recently, a Common RedShank that was tagged by researchers at TS Chanakya wetland in Navi Mumbai was found at Altai in Russia.

Birds are Ambassadors of Environment as they spread the message of biodiversity, said B N Kumar, director of environment-focused NatConnect Foundation.

Bird lovers find it very exciting that the migratory birds tagged in India are often tracked to many parts of the world and they land back India, he said

This proves the site fidelity – the habit of visiting the same sites that they are habituated to – Kumar said who has been running a campaign to save wetlands and mudflats, the destinations of migratory birds. Many birds have also been found to be landing back at Navi Mumbai wetlands. This is significant not just for the love of birds and biodiversity, but from the air safety aspect, Kumar said quoting BNHS studies.

BNHS has been saying time and again that the wetlands in Navi Mumbai have to be conserved to allow birds confined to the areas that they used to. Any disturbance in the status of the wetlands could lead to a chaotic movement of birds that could endanger the safety of flights at Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), BNHS said.