Bhola : A team of ornithologists has began satellite tagging on Indian Skimmer birds for the first time in the world to track their migratory route.
The team, lead by wildlife biologist Samiul Mohsanin, visited Char kukri mukri, Char Shahjalal, Domar Char and Nijhum Dweep, a southern tip of Bhola and Noakhali in the Bay of Bengal from February 1 to 10 and fitted two birds with transmitters. Each transmitter weighing five gms and cost Tk 6 lakh.
The research, run by sub-project titled "Globally threatened water bird conservation in the coastal areas of Bangladesh" being funded under Bangladesh Forest Department's Strengthening Regional Co-operation for Wildlife Protection (SRCWP) Project. Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) is implementing it.
Samiul Mohsanin said that their intention was to monitor the Indian Skimmer, an endangered species of water birds that flocks during winters in the coast of Bangladesh and during summer in the Indian Sub-continent.
"Two of the five Skimmers, the team managed to catch, were fitted with satellite transmitter which will enable us to find these birds' migration route," he added.
"With this technology now we can track the bird’s location on a daily basis if the transmitter works. Hopefully, it would works for next two years. These data will be extremely crucial to save the species," said Mohsanin.
He informed that the number of the endangered species of bird is less than 5,000 where as nearly 1,200 visit Bangladesh during winter.
Once this species was widely found throughout the riverine habitats of Bangladesh but now confined in Char Shahjalal, Kukri Mukri, Nijhum Dweep and Domar Char areas only.
William Jones, another expert of the team, said, they have been studying this species over two years and this year they were successful to catch and fit them with satellite.
"This bird is one of the least studied species in the world and our research will contribute a lot to its unknown migration. This research work will be able to contribute more in Asian Ornithology," he added.
The other team members include Stephen Samworth and Ton Eggenhuizen.