Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2nd Johor World Migratory Bird Day 2009

The Second Johor World Bird Migratory Day (WBMD) was held at Pantai Leka, Parit Jawa, Muar on Saturday May 9, 2009. The inaugural Johor WBMD was held on May 10, 2008. The WBMD is being held annually in 59 countries all over over the world as an awareness campaign to the world community as to the significance of migration among the bird population and the need to protect them.
2. I decided to participate at this WBMD. It was a 2 hour drive from BBBangi to Pantai Leka, taking the South Highway exiting at the Tangkak toll gate proceeding to Muar, Parit Jawa and thence to Pantai Leka. I was at the site around 10 am, meeting Dr. Maketab who is chairman of the Johor Branch of MNS, Sharban, Council meember of MNS who resides in Johor and Vincent, an adviser to MNS Johor Branch and a keen birder.
3. Pantai Leka is a fishing village with rather extensive mudflats during low tide which becomes the home of local birds and some migratory species. The iconic avian species is the adjutant stork. With the binoculars I started focussing my attention to the adjutant storks - four were majestically seen playing on a wooden platform some 5o m away and two perched on the mangrove. According to Dr. Maketab, 50-60 adjutant storks or known as Burung Botak are found in the area out of the estimated global population of 5000. The other species that I managed to see there were the terns (chamar), a small woodpecker and quite a few egrets.
4. The Johor State Government is developing the area as an ecotourisn destination particularly for bird watching and has allocated RM 300 000 to construct a watching tower and boardwalk to facilitate the bird watching activity. The Event of the day included the ground breaking ceremony for the facilities and a small exhibition devoted to birds and wildlife.
5. Pantai Leka is also wellknown for its 'asam pedas' and before returning to BBB, on the advise of Prof. Maketab, purchased the 'Ikan Merah Fish Head Asam Pedas' at Mak Pon Restaurant and sharing the delicacy with the family.
6. The Johor WBMD Event is an effort of MNS to create awareness among the local community on the existence of the iconic and other bird species in the area and the need to conserve them and with the bird watching facilities being constructed, Pantai Leka can be developed as an ecotourisn destination.