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24.11.2017

Where is going Uchsyn?

On 17 of June of 2017, two nestlings of Saker Falcon from a nest in Kosh-Agach district of Altai Republic were tagged with GPS/GSM loggers made by Ecoton, Poland (link on a related news>>>), within the project on Saker population recovery in Altay-Sayan region. Life of a male Saker was short – it was killed and eaten by an Eagle Owl. But female successfully left her nesting area and set off to explore the expanses of Altai (related news >>>). Under the contest announced by Saylugem National Park a name for this female was chosen. The winner became a phrase on Altai language sounds as “Uchsyn” that means “Let her fly”.

It is November now and Uchsyn according to her name is flying despite many dangers on her way!

After leaving the nesting site for the first time on 16 of July of 2017, Uchsyn headed to a South-Eastern part of Altai. First, she flew to Kuray Ridge and after skirting Tabozhok mountain returned back to her nest. Next, she went South to the mountains of Mongolia leaving her nest 50 km behind but again returned back soon. Then she visited Chagan-Uzun river canyon and again returned to the nest. In August she made a long round trip to Bayan-Ӧlgii aimag in Mongolia that remote from her nest area on 158 km. After she returned from Mongolia, Uchsyn began to discover the area of Saylugem and made two 70 km flights past Tashanta to the South of Chikhachyova ridge. In one month, from 16 of July to 11 of August, Uchsyn passed more than 1 500 km and covered the area of 8715 sq.km.

By August 14 Uchsyn moved to the highest part of South-Eastern Altai and spent 1.5 week to the East from glaciers of Nairamdal mountain (4 374 m) on Mongolian territory, then made a 125 km flight to Chinese part of Altai and returned to the mountainous area to the East from Nairamdal mountain where she spent the rest of August. At the beginning of September, she made a 3-day journey along Mongolian Altai and flew 220 km, and returned back to Nairamdal, and a bit later – a quick march on 200 km to Bayan-Nuur and back.

Finally, Uchsyn left the neighborhood of Nairamdal on September 15 and flew along Mongolian Altai in South-Eastern direction. On September 22 she made a long stop over in the mountains of Govi-Altai aimag of Mongolia. At the beginning of October, she made a round trip to the border of Bayankhongor aimag, and at the end of October a 450 km trip to China where she flew over mountain Tomurti (4 886 m). On October 28 on her way back she flew straight above a city Hami and mountain Dahei Shan (3 970 m).

On November 20, Uchsyn headed further South crossing the border between China and Mongolia next day. On 23 of October, she started crossing Nan Shan ridge on her way to Tibet flying between 5 000 km height mountains in the upper stream of Shule River.

Flights through high-altitude ridges and quick marshes on hundred kilometers through deserts indicate a very good health condition of Uchsyn and we heartily believe that her wintering would be successful and she will return to her native land.

The project on Saker Falcon population recovery implemented by the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network was supported by the Altai-Sayan branch of WWF/a>, the “Siberian Health” corporation, The Altai Project/Earth Island Institute, the Saylugem National Park, the State Nature Reserve “Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina”, the Falcon breeding center “Vitasfera”, the “Sibecocenter” LLC and private sponsors. GPS / GSM trekking was supported by Ecotone and International Association for Falconry (IAF).

Igor V. Karyakin

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