Learn about Migratory Shorebirds with Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve!

Shorebird migration is one of Nature’s most enigmatic phenomena. To increase awareness and understanding on these amazing birds, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve created ‘Shorebird Migration’, an educational video that brings viewers through the migratory journey that these birds undertake each year. The video encapsulates the shorebird research work that was conducted at Sungei Buloh, the role Sungei Buloh plays in the conservation of these birds, as well as simple tips on how to identify shorebirds. This video ties in with Sungei Buloh’s long-term goal to educate and build the public’s ecological literacy.

Community outreach begins with production! We are pleased that this video is a joint teamwork effort by the staff and our interns, aptly launched on the Reserve’s 28th anniversary on 6 December 2021. You can view the video on the National Parks Board (NParks) below:

On top of that, the Reserve also hosted various webinars on shorebirds, adapting to the pandemic situation to reach out safely to public. One such webinar was ‘Wader Watch’, Sungei Buloh’s signature workshop which used to be held on-site in past years. This year, in conjunction with this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, Sungei Buloh’s resident shorebird expert, David Li, took participants through basic shorebird identification and counting filled with engaging quizzes. The beauty about webinars is that they can reach out to both local and international audience, and can serve as a useful resource tool as it is hosted on YouTube. Thus, you can join us for ‘Wader Watch’ here as well:

Even though international borders may have been affected due to Covid-19, the flyway continues to connect our feathered friends and the Reserve’s international partnerships are still vital in the conservation of migratory birds. Sungei Buloh, together with NParks’ International Biodiversity Centre worked with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to continue the efforts in taking inputs from the member countries in developing Phase II proposal for the ASEAN Flyway Network to better support the migratory waterbirds and wetlands conservation in the ASEAN region. Sungei Buloh is also glad to be invited to participate in the development of the Regional Flyway Initiative that was jointly developed by the EAAF Partnership and the Asian Development Bank.

Another international collaboration we managed to achieve is the photo exhibition held by the National Institute of Ecology (NIE), the Republic of Korea. NIE is one of Sungei Buloh’s MOU partners in shorebird and wetland conservation. The excellent exhibition, titled ‘Global Ecology Literacy Initiative’ highlighted Sungei Buloh’s wetland conservation message, but also showcased a specially curated collection of photographs and illustrations of the Reserve’s diverse flora and fauna which were generously contributed by a strong and loving community of Sungei Buloh’s volunteers, interns, regular visitors, and staff.

Besides catering to our human visitors, the return of our tagged Whimbrel E2 and Terek Sandpiper B5 also brought in much buzz in the community of wader watchers. First ringed in October 2001 and subsequently flagged in February 2016, Whimbrel E2 is one of the oldest birds that returns to Sungei Buloh. This bird is more than 20 years old, and the Reserve is excited to see the bird returning again in September 2021. Another shorebird that has been returned to Sungei Buloh every year is Terek Sandpiper B5. It was ringed in 2013 and is approximately 7 years old. Each time we see these shorebirds returning safe and sound (with ruffled feathers!) to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, it brings us hope and strength to continue in our small ways to contribute to the flyway and the birds survival.

Whimbrel E2 ©David Li

Prepared by Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, National Parks Board, Singapore.

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