Fraser’s Hill grows as place for bird watching


KUANTAN: Efforts taken to promote bird watching in Fraser’s Hill by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Fraser’s Hill Development Corporation (PKBF) have made the highland area a premier place for the activity.

According to PKBF general manager Hanafiah Abdul Talib, Fraser’s Hill had often been referred to as a first-class bird-watching destination in the region as it was home to more than 250 species of birds.

“Many migratory species, that fly here from places as far as Siberia and islands north of Japan, come to Fraser’s Hill in November and December each year.

“They come here to seek new feeding grounds and escape the freezing winter up north,” he said here recently.

He said these birds stayed around Fraser’s Hill for several months before migrating southwards to Australia and New Zealand.

It was also known that many rare and endangered species were often sighted in the highland and among them were the wreathed hornbills and rhinoceros hornbills, Hanafiah said.

On efforts to promote bird watching, Hanafiah said that MNS and PKBF held their 21st international bird race last weekend at Fraser’s Hill.

“It was the brainchild of the Selangor Bird Group of MNS and PKBF and the first competition was held in 1988 with five teams participating.

“Now, it has become an important annual get-together for bird watchers and nature lovers worldwide,” he added.

The event was featured in bird-watcher maps all over the world, he said.

On the event being called a bird race, Hanafiah said it was a race where teams of three competed in searching, identifying and recording different species of birds within a stipulated time.

Among the objectives were the promotion of Fraser’s Hill as a top bird-watching destination, encourage bird watching as an academic and healthy outdoor activity and creating awareness on the rich flora and fauna in the highland, he added.

“It is important to protect Fraser’s Hill as a bird sanctuary and as part of the country’s rich natural heritage,” he said.

Hanafiah expressed surprise that cash was not the main attraction of the participants and they seemed to prefer prizes in kind such as bird books, binoculars, digital cameras, bush gear and field tents.

For more information, call PKBF at 09-517 1623/1624, e-mail pkbf@streamyx.com or pkbf@tmnet.com.my or visit the website at www.pkbf.org.my or www.pkbf.pahangtourism.org.my

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