Malaysia is a country blessed with an abundance of biodiversity with incredible natural assets such as virgin jungles, beautiful islands, cool highlands, and more. And all come together to provide the perfect habitat and ecosystem for the animal kingdom, not least our feathered friends. Dato' Sri Maznah Mazlan Deputy Chairman Tourism Malaysia announced that they would like to make Malaysia a preferred birding destination.
A seminar titled “Malaysia, a Preferred Birding Destination” held recently at Cyberjaya in Kuala Lumpur with tourism players and birding enthusiasts. Some 100 participants comprising government officers from Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Tourism Malaysia, Forestry Department, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, tourism promotions boards, researchers and academicians, nature and birding societies, nature guides, travel agents, and nature photographers felt very excited about elevating the niche interest as one of the main tourism attractions in Malaysia.
Over the two days of the seminar, the mixed group got together to share experiences and best practices, impart knowledge on birding and propose specific ideas on how to develop and market the niche interest in terms of identifying marketable birding areas for tourists, documenting the inventory of birds in Malaysia, developing the human resource to support birding tourism, proposing an entity and blueprint to push the birding agenda forward, and marketing and promotional strategies.
The Malaysian Nature Society has identified 55 Important Bird Areas in Malaysia, areas that are internationally recognized for biodiversity conservation. A total of 795 species of birds have been recorded in Malaysia with over 60 species considered as endemic birds. The diverse bird population combined with the wonderful scenery and friendly people make any visit to Malaysia an unforgettable experience for the veteran or first timer birder.
Perbadanan Putrajaya led the participants for an early morning birdwatching activity at the Upper Bisa Wetland area in Precinct 16, an easily accessible birdwatching area perfect for beginners. Large colonies of purple herons, cinnamon bitterns, black crowned herons and cattle egrets were seen nesting on the small islands in the lake that lie just behind a row of houses near the Alamanda shopping mall.