Friday, July 17, 2009


Every morning I would wake up to the singing of birds in my neighbourhood. There is nothing as refreshing as when you are listening to the happy chirping, trilling and tweeting of our feathered friends in the early hours of morning when a new day dawns. The birds sure know what it means when they greet each new day with a song!

However,the thought of lying snug in bed and enjoying this luxury may soon be a thing of the past if the following news report is anything to go by. Seems like the onslaught of global warming is now affecting lowland birds which are taking flight and migrating to higher grounds. If this should happen in the near future, highland bird populations will then be displaced by the migration.

The change in climatic patterns due to global warming and the rampant deforestation for development are causing birds to lose their natural habitat and nesting grounds.

Read about this phenomena here (SUNDAY STAR July 12th, 2009)


KUALA LUMPUR: More lowland birds are flying off to live in the highlands and this is an indicator of deforestation and climate change.

Naturalist consultant on birds, wildlife and bio-diversity Mike Chong said birds such as magpie robins (burung murai) and spotted doves that normally lived in lowlands and valleys were seen in Cameron Highlands recently.

“Such birds have been spotted in the mountains such as Genting Highlands and Fraser’s Hill and this shows a change in climate pattern and a disturbance in the environment,” he said during the Zoo Negara Birdathon 2009 here Sunday.

Chong said temperatures in mountain forests also increased due to global warming, and caused lowland birds to adapt easily to their new habitat.

This is coupled with the shrinking amount of forests in the lowlands which have been cleared for development. Because of that, the birds lose their habitat and fly off to the highlands,” he said.

He explained that the lowland birds would then compete with highland bird species if they shared the same food source, habitat and nesting habits.

“The highland birds may be displaced as a result of the migration and in the next 10 to 20 years, this may pose as a threat to them,” Chong said.

He added that the diversity of bird species in a forest indicated its health and there were generally still a lot of birds in Malaysia.

“There are about 674 bird species in the country. I hope more studies will be conducted on the migration of the lowland birds so that we can properly gauge the effects of the climate changes today,” he said.

Zoo Negara director Dr Mohamad Ngah said birds lose their food source when trees were cut.

“We cannot totally stop development from taking place but as scientists, we can monitor the situation and try to reproduce endangered species to ensure they do not become extinct,” he said, adding that there were close to 100 bird species observed in the zoo.

During the event, Dr Mohamad flagged off the 60 participants of the Birdathon that was aimed at instilling public awareness on birds as part of environment indicators.

Source :

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