06 May, 2008

New Concerns About Paco

According to the satellite data, Paco has apparently not moved from his perching area on the coast of Chile for several days. This morning, we also received a mortality signal from his transmitter indicating that he had not moved for some time. But we have received false mortality signals in the past.

So, once again, we contacted team member Christian Gonzalez in Chile and explained our new concerns about the welfare of this falcon. Obviously, he shares those concerns. However, since Christian lives in Santiago, which is quite a long distance to the south, it is difficult for him to get to Paco's location quickly.

As an alternative, he is contacting some of his friends and colleagues from a town called Tal Tal that is just south of the transmitter. They are arranging to take a trip out to the area and will have a look around. If they find anything, they will let us all know.

After our false alarm about Fireball last week, we are all a little skeptical right now. But the signal from Paco has not moved for a much greater amount of time than Fireball.

If anything has happened to him, we must try our best to find out what occurred. Did he drop the transmitter? Is he simply staging and returning to the same perch each night over a remarkably extended period? And, of course, the question we all want to know....was he killed somehow?

To further confound the situation, today Don picked up another class 2 Doppler signal that, if true, indicates that Paco may have moved once again.

Tomorrow will bring more data and hopefully some more answers. Stay tuned....