Annual Malaysian Raptor Watch

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World News archive. | Bird News archive for Asia |  Annual Malaysian Raptor Watch

Raptor watch in Tanjung Tuan

The Malaysian Nature Society (BirdLife in Malaysia) is holding its annual Raptor Watch event this weekend to promote conservation of birds of prey and their habitats. Held on every first weekend of March near one of Malaysia’s last remaining patches of coastal forest, Raptor Watch is the country's only nature-related public event conducted on a large scale.

The event will take place from 4-5 March in Tanjung Tuan Important Bird Area (IBA). During the spring migration thousands of raptors can be seen flying across the Straits of Melaka, giving exceptional views as they pass low over the site.

Despite being an IBA, Tanjung Tuan faces very real threats from development. The sea front of Tanjung Tuan is expensive real estate, and as Tanjung Tuan is an extension of the Port Dickson holiday coasts, its value for tourism is high. For many years local authorities have been drawing up plans to develop the area, with the Malaysian Nature Society in turn working hard to keep Tanjung Tuan intact.

Tanjung Tuan is of prime importance for its migratory raptors, forming a vital stopover site after the birds have crossed the Straits of Melaka. For raptors arriving late in the evening, it provides shelter for the night before they take off the next day. Without Tanjung Tuan, many raptors would perhaps never make it back, due to exhaustion and lack of food. However, the area is also important for its surrounding marine life and its forest growth. Tanjung Tuan act as a gene bank for tropical timber trees and its waters are rich with coral and sea-grass, both important for the turtles that nest in the area's secluded beaches.

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The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World News archive. | Bird News archive for Asia |  Annual Malaysian Raptor Watch

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