by Alex Tiongco and Teresa Cervero
It’s not too soon to start thinking about the 10th ARRCN Symposium that will be held in Davao City, Philippines in 2017! Here’s a look at what went on during the 9th ARRCN Symposium in Chumphon, Thailand.
The 9th ARRCN Symposium was held at Chumphon, Thailand from 21st – 25th October 2015 attended by country delegates along the Asian Continental and Oceanic flyways from as far north as Mongolia and east as India. Delegates from the U.K and the U.S.A., Butami, Georgia and from other European countries also took active part. Russia was absent this year but China sent their representative.
Chumphon is located at the Isthmus of Kra, southern Thailand which serves as the land bridge for Migrating Raptors from the Palearctic which winter in Southeast Asia. 25-32 raptor species numbering an average of from 350,000 to half a million are recorded here each autumn season. A full season raptor count is conducted at Khao Dinsor from mid September to mid November every year. A raptorwatch festival is celebrated on the 3rd week of October, which is the peak of the Black Baza migration. Two years ago, the Chumphon Raptor Center was built on Khao Dinsor. The site is fondly referred to as the “Hawk Mountain of Asia”.
The key speakers on this symposium were:
- Professor Ian Newton from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Cambridgeshire U.K who spoke on “The Ecology of Raptor Migration”.
- Keith Bildstein of Hawk Mountain USA who spoke on “The Movement Ecology of Scavenging Birds of Prey”
- Professor Yossi Leshem of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv who spoke on “ Migrating Birds know no Boundaries.”
This year marked the biggest participation of the Philippines in the ARRCN’s 15 year history. A total of 9 delegates attended from both the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Dennis Salvador, and the WBCP Raptor Group – Mark Jason Villa, Harry and Nenita Miller and the 6 presenters.
The Philippine delegation delivered 4 paper presentations and 2 poster presentations as follows:-
- “The Current Raptor Conservation in the Philippines” – an oral presentation by Tere Cervero and Alex Tiongco of the WBCP Raptor Group
- “Hope for Threatened Tropical Forest Raptors:- Lessons from the Philippine Eagle Conservation Program” an oral presentation by Dennis Salvador of the Philippine Eagle Foundation
- “Identification of Raptor Migration Routes in the Philippines, an oral presentation by Alex Tiongco and Tere Cervero of the WBCP Raptor Group
- “Distribution Mapping of Accipter soloensis and Butastur indicus Based on Occurrence Data in the Philippines”an oral presentation by Jelaine Gan and Carmela Espanola of the WBCP Raptor Group.
- “Northern Light Project 2013-2014:- Identifying Spring Migration Exit Points in Northern Luzon, Philippines” a poster presentation by Adrian Constantino and Ma. Katrina A. Constantino of the WBCP Raptor Group.
- “Project Southern Crossing 2014:- First Observations of Autumn Raptor Migration at Sarangani, Mindanao Island, Philippines” A poster presentation by Ma. Katrina A. Constantino and Adrian Constantino of the WBCP Raptor Group.
The ARRCN Symposia are a biennial affair, the preceding one was held in Pune India in February 2014.
The 10th ARRCN Raptor Symposium will be held at Davao City, Philippines in 2017. Dennis Salvador of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, which also is a founding member of the ARRCN has suggested that the Symposium be held in October when it is hoped that the Philippine Eagle in Mindanao would be nesting. October is also the peak migration time for the Chinese Sparrowhawks and the Grey-faced Buzzards in Mindanao.
The 10th ARRCN Symposium promises to be a major affair as it will not only celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the ARRCN Symposium but also because other raptor organizations like the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) – the world’s largest professional society for raptor researchers and conservationists – have signified their intentions to attend the anniversary.
Co-organisers for the 10th Symposium are the WBCP and the Philippine Eagle Foundation. The theme of the Symposium will be decided by the Philippine co-organisers but it is suggested that the theme be along the lines of the Philippines being the unifying factor for cooperation and studies of Raptors between Asia and the west of the world.