China, Pakistan jointly rescue, protect falcons

(China Economic Net) – “Let’s set free and protect falcons together with Pakistani brothers,” China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) called on Chinese volunteers to save animals in Pakistan.
The animals to be released back to the wild consist of 74 falcons and one Chlamydotis undulata. They were rescued in a multinational anti-poaching operation led by the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) in October 2020.
Later, they have been quarantined by the Pakistani Customs and relevant government departments. After being treated by British experts on prey birds, they are taking rehabilitation training and preparing for running wild.
They will be released to the wild in three or four batches from the end of January to February 2021.
Now, all the 75 birds are in good condition and have been mounted a chip for monitoring their health status, according to Liu Ying, the IAF representative to China.
For wild animals’ relief, bringing them back to life is just a beginning, while the wild-release and follow-up are also essential parts of the rescue. The tracking information of falcons will be of great significance for people to know their living habits, migration route, breed, and habitats environment.
The tracking devices used for these birds are based on China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, with one-meter accuracy of positioning and real-time data transmission capacity, said Lu Wen, head of Dali Eagle Craftsman Raptor Conservation Center, a member of IAF.
Lu also shared experience of mounting a transmitter for falcons without harming them and tips of releasing birds of prey wearing devices.
Lu said 24 falcons and the bustard are ready for wild-release, which are the first batch to be set free.
To better record the falcons’ track and conduct scientific research, CBCGDF decided to recruit two volunteers to assist the wild-release in Pakistan.
“As one of the major bird conservation centers in China, we can offer great supports for the relief of birds of prey,” said Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of CBCGDF.
Besides recruiting volunteers to ensure the correct mounting of tracking devices and covering the expenses related to the rescue operation, CBCGDF also draws the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI Group), experts on birds to join in the rescue and carry out research to better protect animals.
CBCGDF will try to use the state-of-the-art BeiDou Navigation Satellite System to facilitate the international anti-poaching efforts.
Zhou told CEN, “We want to establish a long-term mechanism for the rescue of birds of prey between China and Pakistan.”
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