Saturday, April 16, 2011

Raptor Census at Tanjung Tuan, Malaysia

The company that I work required us to utilise our previous year carried forward leave before 31st of March. It has being a few years already I use a big portion of my carried forward leave as field trips to participate in conservation of raptors through monitoring.

Raptor comes from a Latin word rapere that means to seize, to grap by force. Raptor is a term use for birds that have good eyesight for accurate judgement of distance for landing and hunting. They also have strong talons, strong curved beak, strong legs for catching, holding food and to tear flesh.

The purpose of research on migrating raptors through monitoring this long term migratory raptor census project is collate information on migratory raptor populations, species, it's flight strategies on weather conditions. Over the years of data information collated will then able to make a better analysis does it's flight patterns behaviour, populations are affected by the environmental factors. The intresting part is others countries who are in the migratory raptors flyway are also doing this type of survey and monitoring. The data collated by each country will then be combine and compile for a better information and knowledge necessary for conservation of raptors and their habitats.

Raptors migratory patterns and it's populations is a good yardstick of the health of our ecosystem environment. A healthy ecosystem is a good indicator availabilities of adequate food source and fresh water for all.

Where is the best site for Raptor migratory monitoring in Malaysia for spring migration?
At present we able to indentify that Tg Tuan or formally known as Cape Rachado.

The meaning of Spring migration.
Spring migration is bird in big population migrate long distance flying north bound in the spring to breed. Food source is the primary motivation for migration. The longer days of the northen hemispher sumner provide extended time for breeding birds to feed their young.

As migration is energy intensive the fly route are normally shaped by geographical, ecological, and even meteorological factors. Flyways normally is along mountain ranges or coastlines this is due the birds could have the advantage of updrafts and other wind patterns. If possible they will avoid large stretches of open water (sea).

What is the Best time to watch the raptors at Tanjung Tuan.
In order to conserve energy to cross the open sea the raptors will use the fly path of Pulau Rupat, Indonesia that is about 38km distance from Tg Tuan. As raptors are large they require thermals to assist them to glide without using much energy to continous flapping their wings, the timeframe windows on a good condusive weather for migration is between 11am till 4pm.

The waiting time for migratory raptors, you could observe the others residence birds and wildlife that residece in that small green lung.

This year the 42 days counting starts from Feb bring a final score of 57,128 raptors fly past Tg Tuan.

Oriental Honey Buzzard- 53,040
Black Baza - 2,818
Chinese Goshawk - 824
Japanese Sparrowhawk - 152
Grey-faced Buzzard - 118

Does the raptors migratory patterns and it's population impacted by the changes on global weather conditions and natural dissaster? If you are a birder based in Malaysia do spare some days as a volunteering basis to assist Raptor Census at Tg Tuan.

Your small contribution and effort will leads us the answers for the above. The census are carry out yearly from Mid February till April.

1 comment:

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