23 & 24 November 2013
A 2 days 1 night nature camp for children organised by the Malaysian Nature Society, Perak Branch.
Activities include jungle trekking, bird watching and nature & recycling activities.
Students between 9 and 12 years old are invited to take part.
Registration closes 3 November
Those interested can contact:
Lee Yuat Wah at 017 577 5641
Bird watching, a passion among nature lovers, took centre stage on the morning of Sunday, September 8 at Taiping Lake Gardens. Nature enthusiasts teamed up with Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Perak Branch members to spot an array of delightful resident and migrant birds in their natural habitat at the popular park.
The participants, both children and adults, came armed with binoculars, cameras and telescopes, mounted on tripods, to catch sight of our “feathered friends” found in this highly frequented tourist landmark in Perak.
Birds like the Brown Shrike, Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Black-thigh Falconet, Purple Heron, Spotted Dove, White-throat Kingfisher, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pink-necked Pigeon, Banded Woodpecker, Asian Glossy Starling, Night Heron, Brahminy Kite and Common Myna, among others, were seen congregating on trees and flying above and beside the lake’s greeneries. They also heard the calls of the Blue-eared Barbet but it was not easy to spot the bird.
Among the more than 20 participants was Lee Chu Teng, principal of SMK Methodist, Sungai Siput. Lee enjoys nature and had brought his family of three along. “It’s all in the family when it comes to interest in nature. It’s also a novel event for people to get together to watch birds and talk about nature, conservation and environmental protection” said Lee.
Another was Dr Tie Hieng Kai of Columbia Hospital, Taiping. Tie came with his wife and two young daughters. “My family can appreciate nature with this event while getting to exercise at the same time. It’s definitely better than spending time on tablets and computers,” he enthused.
According to event organiser, Lee Kim Chye of MNS Perak Branch, over 90 types of resident and migrant birds can be found in Taiping. “We gave participants a counting sheet listing at least 41 of them which could be seen at the Lake Gardens,” said Lee to Ipoh Echo.
The Kinta Nature Park, which the Perak Government recently approved to protect, is in dire danger of losing its main attraction, birds.
A concerned nature enthusiast alerted Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) members in early August screaming “what can we do only 20 birds at 5.30pm but plenty fishermen casting huge nets, and no sign of any guard” and supported his claim with photos of fishermen in the pond.
MNS vice-chairman Mr Lee Ping Kong, subsequently went to the park and verified that indeed there were people destroying the birds’ nests and chasing away the birds adding that “there were very few birds left.”
MNS monitored the park for a week. Its report stated that there was a sharp reduction in the bird population, bird nests went missing and the birds are not returning to nest after 5pm. “Basing on this report, things are not looking good,” Lee said.
The Kinta Nature Park located 6 km south of Batu Gajah. It covers 900 hectares of ex-mining land between the Kinta River on the west and the railway track to the east.
One of the ponds, Lake Pucung is over 41 ha wide. This is where the visitor’s area and observation tower can be found overlooking Pucung Island, the largest heronry in the country where five major families of herons and egrets have made it a permanent home. Almost 60% of the birds here are listed as totally protected or protected under the Protection of Wild Life Act 1976.
Pucung Island is the island that Lee had referred to where the “people” were destroying the nests. Lee had reported earlier that the bird population a year ago numbered 3,000.
Encik Ahmad Kamarulzaman, Kampar District Officer, under whose jurisdiction lies the park, stated that his office had made a police report early August adding that most of the ‘work was committed at night by naughty boys”. Regarding enforcement of the area Ahmad said that his office was now “discussing how to do the enforcement”
It is ironic that end of July State Tourism Chairman, Dato’ Hamidah Osman had stated that Kinta Nature Park “especially the Heronry, which is a natural heritage, must be protected otherwise it will become extinct”. She made the statement while following a team of enforcement officers from Kampar and Batu Gajah District Office as well as the Land and Mines Department to remove a barbed wire fence around Pucung Lake.
Sadly a month later, MNS is reporting a “sharp reduction” of the bird population. Their worst fears are being played out. The park no doubt will become a reality. However it will be without its main attraction, the Heronry on Pucung Island.