|Page: Birding Havens in Sarawak|
October 12, 2010
BORNEO Highlands Resort, Kubah National Park, Semenggoh Nature Reserve and Bako-Buntal Bay are birding havens as they are home to more than half of all bird species found in Sarawak.
Sarawak has 553 bird species out of which 312 are found in these sites, says Third Sarawak Bird Race patron Datuk Ose Murang.
He said 12 out of 37 endemic bird species could be found in these four sites.
“Borneo Highlands Resort is one of the few places where we still can find hornbills. Sarawak has eight hornbill species out of which four are found in this mountain range,” he said at the closing of Sarawak Bird Race at the resort, about 50km from Kuching on Sunday.
Birds’ paradise: Borneo Highlands Resort, one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Malaysia.
The resort is an “Important Bird Area” under Birdlife International.
Ose was glad to note that bird-watching had evolved from a favourite pastime to an environmental conservation activity in Sarawak and hoped that the annual race would garner more support from nature lovers and the government.
The presence of birds were important as the well being of the environment was indicated by the number of birds and bird species found in a particular site, he added.
Assistant Tourism and Heritage Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip, who closed the race, commended the organisers Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Borneo Highlands Resort for promoting conservation through an enjoyable activity.
Through the lens: Bird watchers also enjoy taking photographs of birds they spot at Borneo Highlands Resort.
This year’s race was held on a bigger scale with the tagline “From the Sea to the Mountain” with two categories - the Long Race covering the Kubah National Park, Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Bako-Buntal Bay and resort areas, and Short Race covering the resort area only.
During the race, teams of two compete against each other in searching, identifying and recording as many bird species as possible within the stipulated time. A total of five teams took part in the Long Race and seven in the Short Race.
In the Long Race category, Kuching Hawkers comprising seasoned birders Anthony Sebastian and Yeo Siew Teck emerged champions when they recorded 165 bird species. They won RM2,000 and a one-year MNS membership.
In the Short Race category, Eagle’s Eyes comprising Master’s students from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Nur Aida Md Tamrin and Zahirunisa Abdul Rahim spotted 45 bird species and won the first prize. They took home RM500 and a one-year MNS membership.
Source: The Star