Pied cuckoo, harbinger of monsoon 

#GS3 #Environment #Monsoon 

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), along with the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) and the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology, has begun a study of the migration of the pied cuckoo from Africa to India and back, by tagging two of the birds with satellite transmitters. 

  • This is the first study in the country that seeks to trace and observe the migratory routes of the pied cuckoo.  
  • Equally importantly, it will help gather data and information on climate change, scientists involved in the study. 
  • Dehradun-based WII, under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, is India’s apex institute for the study of wildlife science. IIRS, also in Dehradun, is a constituent unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


  • The arrival of the pied cuckoos (Clamator jacobinus, also called pied crested cuckoo and Jacobin Cuckoo) in the Himalayan foothills has traditionally been seen as heralding the onset of the monsoon.  
  • Last week, researchers tagged two of the birds with transmitter chips made by Microwave Telemetry, an American company specialising in wildlife satellite tracking technology. 
  • Researchers around the world have been documenting how various bird species are adapting to climate change and variations, and studying the pied cuckoo will give us information on the monsoon, changes in the monsoon and monsoon winds, erratic rainfall, seasonal fluctuations, water vapour pressure, etc., 
  • The pied cuckoo migration study is part of a larger project called the Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN) funded by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), which aims to put relevant Indian bioresources information online. 

About Indian Bioresource Information Network(IBIN) 

  • Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN) is being developed as a distributed national infrastructure to serve relevant information on diverse range of issues of bioresources of the country to a range of end users.  
  • Its major goal is to network and promote an open ended, co-evolutionary growth among all the digital databases related to biological resources of the country and to add value to the databases by integration.  
  • Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN) is designed to serve relevant information on bioresources of the country to the professionals involved in bio-prospecting, marketing, protecting bio-piracy and the conservation of bioresources.  
  • IBIN is proposed to be uniquely placed as a single portal data provider on India's bioresource - plant, animal, marine, spatial distribution and microbial resources. 
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