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Manipur PFA mourns Heron, traces path to China

Manipur based People for Animal (PFA), has learned that a ringed juvenile black-crowned night heron, which landed at a pond in Imphal and died recently, was banded in its leg in Beijing-based Weishan bird banding station.

The Manipur-based body -- accredited by the Central Zoo Authority -- received the information after extending strenuous efforts to get details of the tagged migratory bird known as Chongkhu in the state.

"We are happy that the Chinese bird conservationists' group has given the information of the bird," Biswajeet Meitei, Managing trustee of PFA Manipur, told the media on Monday.

He said on January 23, the National Bird Banding Centre (NBBC), China, had banded the bird at Weishan Bird banding station, Beijing on September 18, last year.

Narrating the chain of events on the matter, Meitei said that on December 16 last year, a person from Sagoltongba in Imphal West district informed PFA that a bird with a ring in its leg was found at his residential pond and got injured after being bitten by a dog. "We immediately rushed there and found injured on the black-crowned night heron's legs and wings and kept at our animal rescue home in Thoubal," Meitei said, adding that the bird, however, died on December 18.

On December 16, he sent letters with pictures of the bird and the ring to several Chinese animal lovers' groups, seeking information of the winged guest but no response came immediately, he added. Meitei personally informed the matter to a scientist of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dheradhun but no reply was received. Director of Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) Yat-Tung Yu had on December 22 written to him speculating that the ring was used by the NBBC, he said.

"Finally, NBCC had on January 23 mailed me informing that the heron with its tagging number JO8-0900 was banded at Weishan Bird banding station in Beijing on September 18, 2023," he said. Meitei said that they preserved the carcass of the bird at their centre at Thoubal district headquarters, and as they have got its details they would dispose of it soon.

As PFA Manipur has been accredited by the Central Zoo Authority, Delhi, "we are empowered to rescue animals, treat injured ones and study their details", Meitei said.

Despite the bird's demise, this cross-border cooperation highlights the importance of global initiatives in tracking and preserving migratory species, he pointed out.

*Except for the heading, this story has not been edited by The enewstime.in and has been published from an Agency feed.

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