Hong Kong (AFP) Dec 27, 2010
A wild duck has returned to Hong Kong after an epic 12,000-kilometre (7,500-mile) round-trip to the Arctic which conservation experts say has provided new information about bird migration.
Environmental group WWF said the female northern pintail duck, which was fitted with a transmitter in December last year, returned to Hong Kong's Mai Po Nature Reserve at Christmas.
The bird was the only one of 23 from Hong Kong tagged with a miniature solar-powered transmitter to have returned to the Chinese territory, the group said in a press release.
The tracker shows the bird left Hong Kong on February 25 and reached the Arctic Circle in mid-June.
It stopped in east and northeast China and the Yellow Sea off South Korea before reaching Siberia, where it stayed for three months presumably for breeding before heading south in late September.
Flying at an average speed of 50 kilometres (31 miles) an hour, the duck travelled 1,700 kilometres (1,060 miles) in three days, stopping in Russia and Japan before reaching the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on December 18.
It eventually returned to the Hong Kong wetland nature reserve around Christmas after a round-trip totalling about 12,000 kilometres.
The BBC said WWF used Google Earth to locate the duck's feeding areas and route back to Hong Kong.
Katherine Leung, an expert with WWF Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post the tagging project provided important information on bird migration.
"During migration, ducks face many threats, like natural predators, hunters and diseases.
"Another worrying trend is development projects, including (land) reclamation, which results possibly in habitat loss for them and other waterbirds," she said.
"Their migration route will help us protect them better in the future."
Only two other transmitters of the 23 fitted to the ducks are still working. Others likely fell off, were not transmitting or the ducks had been hunted.
The BBC said on its website one of the birds was shot dead over Russia and its transmitter was tracked to what was believed to be the hunter's home.
Another duck, a Eurasian wigeon, appeared to be staying in North Korea having spent more than a month there, the WWF said.
The project was carried out by WWF Hong Kong in partnership with the University of Hong Kong's microbiology department, Asia Ecological Consultants and the US Geological Survey to study wild duck migration and the role of migratory birds in avian influenza.
Hong Kong was the site of the world's first major outbreak of bird flu among humans in 1997, when six people died of a mutation of the virus, which is normally confined to poultry.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Beyond the Ice Age
Polar bear status at heart of climate war
Washington (UPI) Dec 23, 2010
A U.S. federal decision on the species status of polar bears has environmentalists and businesses arguing over the issue of global warming, observers say. The Interior Department was in the U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday defending its decision to classify polar bears as "threatened" rather than "endangered" despite ongoing shrinkage of the bears' sea ice habitat, the Los An ... read more
Adopted Haitian children fly in to Paris on Christmas Eve|
Plane carrying adopted Haitian children arrives in France
Adoptive parents arrive in Haiti to fetch children
Caricom-Australia chide empty promises to Haiti
Ever-Sharp Urchin Teeth May Yield Tools That Never Need Honing
Tablet computers come of age with iPad mania
New Kindle becomes Amazon's all-time best seller
Chilean airline opts for secure upgrade
China's Zijin Mining makes payout over deadly dam collapse
Sand from Bangladesh may boost Maldives
Study: Dams will damage Peru's environment
For Egypt, new Sudan state threat to Nile
Polar Bears No Longer On Thin Ice
H.K. duck's epic Arctic trip sheds light on migration
Obama gives 'lump of coal' to polar bears: activists
Polar bear status at heart of climate war
Study: Human error spreads GM crops
Irrigation pump helps rural Indian farmers
Chateau Lafite, thanks to a lucky 8, takes off in China
Expert warns on China's future food supply
Floods force evacuations in eastern Australia
China starts work on Sichuan quake museum
7.3 quake triggers Pacific tsunami on disaster anniversary
Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' on floods frontline
Religious fighting threatens Nigeria poll
I.Coast's Ouattara urges army to turn on mercenaries
Dutch navy supply ship on its way to Ivory Coast
Forces on the ground in Ivory Coast
Designer Probiotics Could Reduce Obesity
The Ideal Temperature For Keeping Fungi Away And Hunger At Bay
You Are What Your Father Ate
'Living pigment' in rock art discovered
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|