The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

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Philippines are the expert bird watchers

June, 10, 2013 - 10:13 pm

By Linda Peters

Wild Bird Club of Philippines won overall champion
and Sabah leg titles. With them are Prudente (left),
Masidi (second right) and Tengku Adlin (right)
Photo courtesy of Sandakan Borneo Bird Club.

SANDAKAN: Philippines’ Wild Bird Club – who managed to record 148 bird species – finished as the overall champions as well as the winner for Sabah leg during the inaugural International Borneo Bird Race.

Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, in collaboration with Sabah Tourism Board and Brunei Tourism Boards, had recently organised the 10-day race beginning on May 31.

Eight teams from seven countries raced for three categories which was the Sabah leg, the Brunei leg as well as the overall champion titles.

For the overall champions, Singapore’s Nature Society was placed second (144 species) while Thailand’s Bird Conservation Society secured third place (136 species).

As for Brunei leg, the title went to Taiwan’s The Wild Birds (81 species).

The race was launched in Brunei Darussalam where the eight teams then traveled through 1,000km of habitats, ranging from coastal regions, freshwater swamps and lowland forests to the hills and mountain ranges.

Racers recording bird species at Brunei's Ulu
Temburong National Park. Photo courtesy of
Sandakan Borneo Bird Club.

The ‘bird racers’ covered Ulu Temburong National Park-the green jewel of Brunei; Sabah’s Kinabalu Park, the bird paradise; as well as state’s award winning Rainforest Discovery Centre here.

Each team spent 10 to 12 hours taking pictures and gathering information of more than 1,000 known bird species found in both countries.

The collected data would help scientists to study further for conservation and future research.

Race chairman and Sandakan Borneo Bird Club president Cede Prudente said the event was also an integral effort to promote eco-tourism in the state.

“We hope the race will encourage global birding fraternities and the local community to appreciate nature,”he added.

Present at the prize-giving ceremony was state Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun and Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin.

The race also coincided with the 5th Borneo Bird Festival, which was held last weekend at the centre here.