03 May 2010

8 May (Sat) is World Migratory Bird Day

In line with International Year of Biodiversity the theme for World Migratory Bird Day in 2010 is "Save migratory birds in crisis – every species counts!" and focuses on Globally Threatened Migratory Birds.
World Migratory Bird Day highlights the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats. It is celebrated world wide on the second weekend each May since 2006.

What are migratory birds?

Many different species of birds regularly make journeys at certain seasons of the year. These are generally called migratory birds. The most spectacular migratory birds regularly fly long distances along routes called a flyway. These flyways may cover huge distances over continents and across oceans and are represented by the arrows on the World Migratory Day icon.

Singapore is on the East-Asian flyway (coloured yellow).

Why do birds migrate?
The reasons are complex and not fully understood. But a simple explanation is food and a safe place to breed. Birds which breed in the summer in the extreme north such as the Arctic benefit from an abundance of food as plants and insect life flourish in the long daylight hours; and because few large permanent predators can survive the harsh winter. Many birds that breed in the Arctic simply lay their eggs on the ground. Being able to fly, they can avoid the harsh winter conditions, and be the first to arrive to enjoy the summer benefits.

How did bird migration routes become established?
Migration is affected not only by food supply, but also by wind and oceans currents. These make some routes and locations easier to reach.

Why are migratory birds important?
Migratory birds rely on several different habitats; they need different locations for breeding and raising their young, and for feeding. Some of them migrate up to thousands of kilometers to find suitable areas and cross many different habitats, regardless of any political borders. Thus, saving migratory birds means saving their required habitats and that benefits other species as well.

Because birds are found nearly everywhere and, with more than 10,000 described species, being the best known and best-researched taxon, they serve as vital indicators of distribution and state of biodiversity and the ecosystems they inhabit.

If a bird species becomes threatened by extinction it is a clear sign that the conditions of, or the ecosystem itself, have changed and that other species that depend on this ecosystem may be affected as well. Saving every species is therefore essential, because if one species becomes extinct, the whole ecosystem will be affected.

Find out more about migratory birds and their habitats in Singapore, as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve celebrates World Migratory Bird Day with two special talks on 8 May (Sat).

"Mangroves - A Web of Love and Hate Relationships" at 1.30-2.30pm
In celebration of World Migratory Bird Day, this talk is presented by the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Mangroves have long been associated with being wet, strange smelling and biting creatures. It is time that we find out the facts about this special habitat and uncover the truth. In this talk, we shall explore some interesting strategies employed by the various groups of organisms to deal with the harsh conditions that thrive in this ecosystem and the true value offered by Mangroves to human kind.

This talk is presented by Mr Law Hock Ling, a passionate marine biologist and nature lover. Many students have learnt to appreciate nature through his authentic experience. Having given interesting talks on local marine biodiversity, Mr Law Hock Ling has also conducted teachers’ workshops related to field techniques. He has also mentored many award-winning research education projects. Mr. Law’s research interest is on coral reef biology and marine conservation, and is currently involved in nature guiding. He would be furthering his studies in marine science at Otago University, New Zealand.

"Migratory Birds of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve" at 3-4pm
Every year, migratory birds brave mountains, oceans, deserts and storms on their journeys to survive. Their epic flights connect us all - crossing our borders, cultures and lives. An estimated 1,855 (19%) of all known birds species make regular cyclical movements beyond their breeding grounds with predictable timing and destinations.This year, WMBD(World Migratory Bird Day), is focusing on the need to protect every species of migratory birds. In this talk, we will gain some insight into the life of these extraordinary birds and their journey each year in general. We will also highlight some of the species of birds that come to Sungei Buloh.

The speaker is Mr Mendis Tan, Senior Outreach Officer, SBWR.

The talks are free but seats are limited and pre-registation is required. Please call 67941405

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Threatrette
Entry charges: While the talk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website and contact: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/

Here's a synopsis of the talks on wild shores of singapore.

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