World Migratory Bird Day 2023 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Fostering Awareness for Water and Bird Conservation

World Migratory Bird Day 2023 © Endemic Indonesia Society

The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2023 was celebrated with great enthusiasm and success in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The event, organized by the Endemic Indonesia Society, aimed to raise awareness about the importance of water for both birds and people, particularly focusing on the conservation of migratory birds in the Progo River Estuary.

R. Arif Alfauzi, S.Si delivering his presentation © Endemic Indonesia Society

The activities commenced with a school visit to the local school MTs Darul Ulum Galur Kulon Progo on 13th May, 2023. R. Arif Alfauzi, S.Si., an experienced alumnus of UNY(Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta), delivered a presentation on the conservation of migratory birds in the Progo River estuary. Approximately 38 students, 4 teachers, and 10 university students attended the session, gaining valuable insights into the significance of preserving bird habitats.

Birdwatching activity at the Progo River estuary © Endemic Indonesia Society

Later in the day, birdwatching activities took place near the Progo River estuary in Bantul. Students from MTs Darul Ulum and around 20 university students participated in this event, guided by members of the Yogyakarta Birdwatchers Society. Divided into groups, the participants had the opportunity to observe and identify various bird species. Despite not being the migration season, they were still able to spot species such as the Common Sandpiper, Javan Plover, and Greater Crested Tern. The presence of journalists during the event led to a media article, further spreading awareness about the conservation efforts.

To engage a broader audience, an online photo and article competition was conducted from 11th to 24th  May, 2023. Divided into two categories, students and university students, the competition received approximately 30 entries. The submitted works were evaluated, and the winners were announced during the concluding webinar on 27th May.

Winner of the photo competition (student division) © Endemic Indonesia Society

Winner of the photo competition (university division) © Endemic Indonesia Society

Webinar about water and bird conservation in the Progo River © Endemic Indonesia Society

The webinar served as the highlight of the WMBD 2023 event. With a theme focused on water and bird conservation in the Progo River, the webinar attracted approximately 80 participants from various backgrounds, where they shared research findings on the dangers of microplastics in the Progo River flow.

Throughout the series of activities, the Endemic Indonesia Society recognized the importance of involving the media to raise awareness about migratory bird conservation. It further spread the message beyond the event's immediate participants.

Birds found in the Progo River estuary © Endemic Indonesia Society

The Progo River estuary holds great significance as a water source for surrounding communities and as a crucial feeding and resting place for migratory birds. The presence of endangered species at the site such as the Great Knot, Nordmann's Greenshank, and Far-eastern Curlew highlights the importance of conservation efforts. However, these birds face numerous threats, including hunting, habitat degradation, and the presence of microplastics in the river flow. The WMBD 2023 activities successfully highlighted these issues and fostered greater awareness and understanding among participants, contributing to the ongoing conservation efforts in Yogyakarta.

By organizing educational initiatives and engaging with schools, communities, and decision-makers, the Endemic Indonesia Society and its partners took significant steps toward protecting migratory birds and their habitats. The success of the WMBD 2023 event not only underscored the importance of water for birds and people but also emphasized the need for continued collaboration and action to ensure the long-term survival of these remarkable migratory species in the Progo River estuary.

News article 1: EIS and MTS Darul Ulum Kulonprogo Conduct Bird Watching in Muara Progo

News article 2: Kali Progo is polluted by microplastics due to trash from baby diapers to mattresses

News article 3: Massive sand mining at the mouth of the Progo River threatens the habitat of migratory shorebirds

The project was funded through the 2023 EAAFP WMBD Small Grant Fund. View the report, Click here.

Article prepared by Endemic Indonesia Society.






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