While his flock travelled north, Rup was knocked off course by Cyclone Trevor. (Supplied: Amanda Lilleyman/Google Earth)
One threatened bird’s northern migration has actually deciphered into a cross-country journey of confusion, isolation and cyclonic winds.
Rup is a Far Eastern curlew, a migratory shorebird that makes a massive yearly journey from Australia to reproducing premises in northern China and Siberia.
Unlike the respected bush stone curlew — understood for their piercing, spooky calls — the Far Eastern curlew is seriously threatened.
A regional preservation task tracking the birds reveals Rup’s travel through Victoria, Central Australia and into the western Top End.
What took place next, according to migratory shorebird scientist Amanda Lilleyman, was a matter of regrettable timing.
“Its two fellow flock members left Victoria just a few days beforehand, so it was maybe a bit late to leave,” Ms Lilleyman stated.
Rather of continuing north, tracking information programs Rup zig-zagged through the Gulf of Carpentaria as it came across Cyclone Trevor, whose category-four winds reached 250kph.
“It got caught up in this cyclone and it’s just terrible news, because it probably spent a lot of energy flying through this cyclone.”
After taking a short break in Karumba, the bird landed in Townsville, where it meandered in between a salt marsh and regional beach.
Rup travelled to the Top End and stopped for a break near Milingimbi. (Supplied: Amanda Lilleyman/Google Maps)
Endangered bird most likely will not reproduce
Rup’s flight was tracked with one of 14 tags Ms Lilleyman connected to 14 Far Eastern curlews throughout Australia.
Her research study intends to get a much better understanding of the bird’s environmental requirements.
“It’s got a lot of global threats facing it, and most of them are to do with habitat destruction, loss of intertidal areas and so on,” she informed ABC Radio Darwin‘s Jolene Laverty and Adam Steer.
“It’s a difficult bird to handle due to the fact that it has international circulation, flying in between hemispheres.
“So what we’re performing in Australia, particularly in the non-breeding premises and in Darwin Harbour, is taking a look at its environmental requirements and how it walks around.”
Current maps reveal some of the tracked birds getting here in Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Rup herself has most likely cut her losses and quit on breeding, according to Ms Lilleyman, rather investing a long and most likely lonesome couple of months back house in Victoria.
“You may simply discover that she will not reproduce this season, so that’s one less clutch of young curlews that she will lay.”
It was not a smooth journey through the Gulf of Carpentaria. (Supplied: Amanda Lilleyman/Google Earth)