BECAUSE BIRDS ARE IMPORTANT: Hear it from the experts!

It’s going to be a big weekend for birds when the 4th Sarawak Bird Race kicks-off on 29th October 2011 at the Permai Rainforest Resort, and then ‘migrates’ to the Borneo Highlands Resort on 30th October 2011.

It’s also promises to be a big weekend for bird and nature lovers alike.

John Arifin will run a workshop on using photography to capture wildlife and bird pictures. John is a Singapore-based nature and wildlife photographer and educator who travels across Asia to document wildlife, and the culture of Asia in search of a perfect moment to freeze in time. John had been to various parts of Sarawak & Sabah to explore the nature and birdlife of Borneo. One of the highlights of his trip to Sarawak was to photograph the extremely rare Dulit Frogmouth.

John believes that bird races have tremendous value. “They create awareness about birds and nature, they create fellowship between the keen and new birders, and they build friendships among bird lovers internationally,” he says, adding excitedly, “It’s great for tourism promotion!”

As a young lad, Nils Müller was enthralled by the eerie but fascinating Raptors while travelling through the Pyrenees, and his love for ornithology was sealed forever. A Biology graduate from Lund University in Germany, Nils specializes in Bird migration and Genetics, and will share his knowledge and experience about bird migration: why, when and how far they migrate, and how they orientate themselves along their migration route.

Nils believes that bird Races are a great way to draw attention to the diversity of birds that surrounds us. “Birds have the largest range of species on Earth and many of them are found in our own backyard! I like to think that learning about birds means learning to appreciate nature and its value to the society,” he says. Nils believes that having a majestic bird like the Hornbill on the Sarawak Flag shows the inspirational power birds can give. With their capability to fly and cover great distances, birds can serve as a great indicator of the state of nature for example, the effects of global warming and human impacts to the fragile environment. “As we struggle to save endangered birds, we may find that they could possibly provide solutions to save humankind from ourselves,” he concludes.

Other speakers who will be on hand to share their knowledge and experiences include:

a) Dr Pilai Poonswad from Mahidol University in Thailand who will speak about Hornbill conservation and especially about her work on building artificial nesting boxes for these majestic denizens of the tropical rainforest.
b) Dr. Charles Leh, Curator of Natural History & Zoology at the Sarawak Museum will present a talk about the “Sustainability of Swiftlets”.
c) Dr. Lim Chan Koon, an edible nest trader and producer who will speak about ‘Edible Nest Trading”.

Schedule of nature talks & workshops:

Saturday, 29th October 2011, Permai Rainforest Resort
Nils Müller: Bird Migration
Dr Pilai Poonswad: Hornbill Conservation
Dr Charles Leh: Sustainability of Swiftlets
John Arifin: Workshop on how to capture wildlife and bird photos

Sunday, 30th October 2011, Borneo Highlands Resort
Dr Lim Chan Koon: Edible Nest Trading 

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