Friday, October 03, 2014

Japanese team win 2nd Borneo bird race

THE Wild Bird Society of Japan emerged as the overall champions of the Second Borneo Bird Race 2014, sighting 169 species throughout Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.

Brunei was the third and final leg of the race which was from October 1-2. The first leg of the race was in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah followed by Kuching, Sarawak from September 24-29.

Speaking to The Brunei Times during the prize presentation yesterday at Rizqun International Hotel, group representative Haruhiko Asuka expressed his gratitude for winning the race.

“We appreciate it so much and I think the organisers, including Brunei, did a wonderful job with the event. I joined the race last year as well, it’s been an exciting journey.”

The Tourism Department featured two bird destinations for the race in the Sultanate: Kampong Ayer and along the Brunei river; and the Ulu Temburong National Park.

The Wild Bird Society of Japan identified 92 species during the third leg, which also made them the winners for the Brunei segment. The Japanese team also spotted 18 endemic (local) species making them the winners of the most endemic species spotted category.

Meanwhile, winning the most sporting team with anonymous votes from the umpires’ category was the Gujarat Birdwatchers Club from India.

Wayne Hsu from Taiwan joined again this year and said that Brunei is a good place to for birding (bird watching) because Brunei has a great forest which is important because habitat is key in bird watching.

“When determining where to go birding, the first thing you look at is habitat. The place we went to (Ulu Temburong) has that primary rainforest – it doesn’t get any better. Tropical rainforest has the most diversity in the world.”

“Here in Borneo, we have more than 60 endemics which are birds found nowhere else in the world and tropical forests are key to their survival.”

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