First Comprehensive Guide on Singapore's Migratory Birds Now Available - Featuring All 108 Species Sighted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Since 1988
10 Oct 2009
Singapore, 10 October 2009 - Visitors to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve during this migratory bird season can now make use of a new guidebook to enhance their experience and enjoyment of the wetland reserve.
Titled 'Migratory Birds of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve', it is the first such comprehensive photographic guide on migratory birds to be produced in Singapore. It documents pictures and information of all 108 species of migratory birds which have been sighted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve over the past decade. It is a useful resource to complement the tours, workshops and talks at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. This will help visitors to find out more about these feathered "migrants".
As a site along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway for migratory shorebirds and an ASEAN Heritage Park, migratory birds are the main attraction at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, especially during the annual migratory bird season between the months of September and March.
As many as 60 different species of birds can be spotted in a single day during this period, as thousands of migratory birds from their breeding grounds in Russia, North China, Japan and Korea make Sungei Buloh their resting point before continuing their flights down south. Two hundred and twenty-seven bird species have been sighted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve since 1988, when it was first identified as a nature park. Of this number, 108 species are migratory birds.
Collaboration with Grand Hyatt Singapore
The production of this guide is made possible through a collaboration between Grand Hyatt Singapore and the Garden City Fund (GCF), in partnership with National Parks Board (NParks).
The hotel contributed US$10,000 towards the cost of production and printing of the guide. Apart from sponsoring the production of the guide, six Hyatt staff have also been trained by NParks who will be conducting guided tours in the next few months. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme, Hyatt is the first hotel to collaborate with NParks to increase awareness about the rich biodiversity at Sungei Buloh, by conducting regular guided tours for its employees and hotel guests during the migratory bird season. The hotel will also help promote the wetland reserve during the migratory season through study tours that comes through the hotel.
In addition, Hyatt, GCF and NParks organised a photography competition in May 2009 to encourage budding and professional photographers to capture the beauty of the unique animals residing in the wetlands of Sungei Buloh. The winners were unveiled today, and they received over $2,000 worth of vouchers from Hyatt. Selected photographs will be on display at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (from now till end October) and at Hyatt in November 2009.
Professor Leo Tan, Chairman of Garden City Fund, who officially launched the guide today, said, "Sungei Buloh, with its rich variety of flora and fauna, is indeed a unique asset for conservation in our small city-state. We are very happy to have the warm and generous support of Hyatt in this project. Apart from the production of the guide, the hotel has helped in various ways, to increase the awareness of Sungei Buloh among their guests and staff. I look forward to future collaborations and a lasting partnership with Hyatt."
"Grand Hyatt Singapore seeks to cultivate awareness through sustainable initiatives; which in turn empower employees, the local community and visitors to make the right environmental choices consistently at work and at home. We trust that the first educational guidebook on migratory birds will be a milestone for Hyatt Community and Singapore towards this common goal," said Mr Chris Conway, Resident Manager of Grand Hyatt Singapore.
Interesting Bird Species Documented
Two thousand copies of the guide will be sold at Grand Hyatt Singapore and the visitor counters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Pulau Ubin. They are also available for sale during workshops, roadshows and exhibitions at the reserve. The cost of each guide is $10. During this month, visitors can purchase it at a launch special price of $8.
NParks has also started marketing this guide to schools for use during guided walks. Kheng Cheng Primary School will be one of the first to use this guide for their visits to the wetland reserve during the December year-end holidays.
The Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper and Mongolian Plover are the most visible and abundant migratory bird species found in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Others such as the Nordmann's Greenshank, Masked Finfoot, Chinese Egret and Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, are globally threatened species which use the wetland reserve as a resting point seasonally.
Interesting birds featured in the guide include the Common Redshank. It was ringed in November 1990 and found at Sungei Buloh 15 years later in September 2006, making it the oldest bird which has been ringed and recaptured in the wetland. Interestingly, though the bird is at least 17 years old, its weight had remained about the same at 125 grammes. Another bird, the small Pacific Golden Plover, weighing about 100g and no heavier than a handphone, is known to fly over 6,000km from Siberia to Singapore, and subsequently another 4,000km to Australia. The Bar-tailed Godwit is also known for its long flights, and it can fly continuously for 10,000 km within eight days. Such amazing journeys taken by these migratory birds are repeated year after year.
Migratory Bird Season at Sungei Buloh
The annual migratory bird season at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve falls between the months of September to March. To celebrate the start of this season, NParks is organising a series of guided walks and talks on migratory birds.