• Ibangklaseng Yoga: A different way to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2018

    ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. Kathy Lene S. Cielo and Szimon Francisco, Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually in Naujan Lake National Park (NLNP) [EAAF062], a wetland of international importance—one of the Ramsar sites in the Philippines. This year, we at Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (MBCFI) opted to celebrate it with a little twist—we celebrated with yoga! Our activity called “Ibangklaseng Yoga” aims for the wellness of three aspects: 1) biodiversity through talks, exhibit and bird counting, 2) ecotourism through Bangklase tour, and 3) body and mind through yoga. The English translation of “ibang” is different and “klase” is class or kind. The event was also held at the Bangklase, if translated “Bangka” is boat and “klase” is class, meaning “class in a boat”. It is a big catamaran with a seating capacity of 60 persons. The Bangklase project is an initiative of Divine Word College of Calapan and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to promote biodiversity conservation and ecotourism in Naujan Lake National Park. The original itinerary of the Bangklase is to go to different ecotourism sites in the Lake such as: Minglet Forest, Pungao Hotspring, Tagbakin Falls and Malabo View Deck. During the tour, a representative of NLNP- Protected Area Office will provide lectures on biodiversity and Naujan Lake National Park. For this year’s theme of “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”, we invited 15 volunteers who travelled all the way from Manila to attend the event. They are: from Shell Philippines Exploration BV and Shell Business Office Manila, and Triathletes. BIODIVERSITY TALKS AND EXHIBIT St. Agustin Minor Seminary Ecology Professor Madonna Virola invited MBCFI to hold its Day 1 Biodiversity Talks and Exhibit (February 2, 2018) at their auditorium. The event was attended by more than 50 seminarians and the 15 volunteers from Manila. Joining the seminarians and the volunteers were the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Oriental Mindoro Provincial Officer Mary June Maypa and MBCFI Board of Trustees member Gerardo Concepcion. Concepcion shared his message on sustainability: “Although, I, myself is an entrepreneur, specifically in the gas and oil industry at that, I am also a trustee of MBCFI. I believe that development and environment can go along positively for a sustainable future. And may I quote from the Rio declaration “In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.” I personally, see to it that our business meets the environmental standards of our country, and that we comply dutifully with it.” During the day, other topics related to biodiversity were discussed 1) MBCFI Executive Director Grace Diamante on MBCFI’s programs and projects 2) MBCFI M & E Officer Virtito Natural Jr. on Philippines’ biodiversity 3) MBCFI IEC Officer Roderick Makiputin on Mindoro Biodiversity; 4) RESEARCH Program Manager Don Geoff Tabaranza on MBCFI’s RESEARCH program, wetland birds and counting methods; 5) NLNP-PAO ECOMS I Rayson Alfante on Naujan Lake National Park as an important wetland; 6) MBCFI CARE Program Manager Kathy Lene Cielo on Urban Wetlands. The exhibit included research gears, published books, bird photos and brochures for the appreciation of participants. Day 1 was ended by a send-off serenade and prayer by seminarians and Father Nestor Adalia. COASTAL CLEAN-UP ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. Earlier that day, the Protected Area Office of NLNP spearheaded by Protected Area Superintendent Ricardo Natividad pushed through with their regular coastal clean-up in the Barangays surrounding the lake. BIRD COUNTING AND YOGA MBCFI, DENR and volunteers started the Day 2 of World Wetlands celebration at 5 AM aboard the Bangklase. The event started with a short orientation by Don Geoff Tabaranza on bird counting using the block method. It was then followed with an hour session of Ashtanga yoga for beginners. The yoga session ended at the burst of dawn, in time for the bird counting activity where flock of birds welcomed our guests and volunteers. A total of 1,900 birds were counted and majority are tufted ducks followed by Garganeys. However, the bird count was low due to the cloudy weather with periodical rain showers. ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. “Bird counting was more than just “counting’, it was an activity that needed patience, focus and most importantly, enthusiasm. Taking action is the next step. We should consider to be advocates, and create awareness of the values and concerns that we are currently facing in saving our natural habitats and its species not just in our locales.” Decerel Mendoza (Volunteer, Athlete and Yogini) Participants shared their creativity and pledges by coloring a bird-shaped board courtesy of East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership. The event was ended with a sumptuous breakfast aboard the bangklase! It was indeed a happy World Wetlands Day! “I have previously learned about MBCFI and the ecological significance of Mindoro from lunch-and-learn events held in the SPEX office, but personally being at Naujan Lake with the MBCFI team gave me a deeper appreciation for the hard work being done on the field and why it matters.”- Chiara Bernardo (Volunteer, Shell Exploration BV)


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  • Red Knot Travelling Exhibition at the Second Tianjin International Bird-watching Competition

    ©CBCGDF Shuya Huang, Linda Wong, Jinfeng Zhou, CBCGDF On March 16th-18th, 2018, the Second Tianjin International Bird-watching Competition was officially launched at Tianjin Binhai New Area (Bohai Bay) in the Northern China. The Competition was hosted by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) along with Tianjin authorities. This Competition also attracted numerous local and national media. Twenty domestic and international birding teams gathered for this event (including 5 international teams, composed of British, German, Singaporean, Indian, Pakistani, and Kenyan bird lovers). In total, 96 species of migratory birds, including the endangered relict gull and great bustard, were identified and verified by the judges during the competition day. The Bohai Bay is located along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) of migratory waterbirds. The vital mudflat supports more than 30 species of shorebirds year-round, including the attractive Red Knot. Collaborating with EAAFP and the “Year of the Knots 2017-2018” initiative, CBCGDF brought the “Red Knot Travelling Exhibition” to Tianjin, China, and aimed to raise public awareness on this particular bird through the comprehensive artwork presentation. The representative from CBCGDF presented the characteristics of the Red Knot and shared interesting information about its migratory habits and the routes from January to December to the participants and volunteers. The artwork provided by Janet Essley and the biologist Lee Tibbitts especially captivated the audience and assisted them to clearly visualize the descriptions. After the presentation, the audience continued to ask questions about the reasoning behind the Red Knot’s preferred migratory route and its favourite food at the staging locations along the EAAF. The public greatly enjoyed the introductory panels as well. With the hard work of the organizers, media, participants, and volunteers, the Red Knot Travelling Exhibition and the Second Tianjin International Bird-watching Competition turned out to be huge successes. ©Tian Jiguang The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) is an independent non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. As a partner with the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the NGO was originated from the Milu reintroduction in 1985. China's leading conservation is with about 50 staff and thousands of registered volunteers. With a public fundraising license, CBCGDF funded hundreds of grassroots NGOs and individuals in past 3 years, and hosted many biodiversity projects and environmental events around the country to aware the people, encourage the people, and empower the people. Protecting migratory birds and the habitats on which they depend are important tasks of CBCGDF. In recent years, CBCGDF has been consistently promoting the conservation of the migratory birds, as well as their critical habitat (e.g. intertidal zone, mudflats, and wetlands) through various channels. All authors are from China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). Shuya Huang is the corresponding author, and her email is hsy@cbcgdf.org.


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  • Asian Waterbird Census with the Pulau Ketam Community

    By Mr Woo Chee Yoong, Wildlife RA of the Malaysian Nature Society On the 15th until 19th of January, 2018, I was given the opportunity to engage the Pulau Ketam community in the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) activity. The first task was to survey about the island community’s knowledge and interests in waterbirds. The second task was getting the community to be involved in the Asian Waterbird Census, AWC. Together with my MNS colleague, Ms. Agnes Loh, a local resident who is in-charge of the waste management project and Kelab Pencinta Alam (MNS School Nature Club) in Pulau Ketam, we went around the houses, shops, restaurants, secondary school and interviewed 100 villagers. I was lucky to meet some friendly and helpful members from the Chinese Chess Society (CCS) and they helped introduce me to the villagers, especially the fishermen who even took me on a boat ride for the roost site survey. On the second night, they spotted a few waterbirds at the jetty and informed me on the spot. The following weekend on the 28th of January was an introduction on AWC to the villagers. 16 villagers, with a majority of secondary school students, joined myself, Agnes and two MNS Selangor Branch bird group members, Mr. Low Kok Hen and Mr. Tang Tuck Hong. The two birders provided experiential knowledge of waterbirds to the villagers. We went out to the surrounding Klang Islands during low tide. The boatman brought us to a few good high roost sites. Overall from the survey, we found that the most waterbirds were Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) and Common Tern (Sterna hirundo). We also counted 28 Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus). This is a listed Vulnerable species and the finding of this habitat is a crucial discovery. Other waterbirds recorded were the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Common Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Green-backed Heron (Butorides striata), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) and Great Egret (Ardea alba). Besides waterbirds, there were lots of Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) circling around evening sky may be due to the tourism activity of raptor feeding. In my opinion, this is not an ethical way to promote tourism. It could disrupt the behaviour of the Brahminy Kite by feeding. Other than that, House Crow (Corvus splendens) can be heard everywhere in the village because of the accumulated rubbish without a proper solid waste disposal system and the villagers always complain of the noises these crows made. The other birds documented were Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus), Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) and Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos).       “It is not the bird watching skills that matters, but it is the interest and passion that we must instill inside each villager that counts. I hoped what we have done so far can help to inspire more villagers to volunteer their time in conservation, especially the youths that turned during the AWC. They are the ones who hold the future of this wildlife, if not them, who else? Thus, I would like to express my highest appreciation to MNS and all the warm-hearted Pulau Ketam community for the successful event held” mentioned Woo.    Mangrove forest surrounding Pulau Ketam during the high tide. Fishermen boats at their own houses in Pulau Ketam. Abundant of crabs found at the jetty mudflat in Pulau Ketam that create the name for this village. Rubbish under the houses in Pulau Ketam. Members of the Pulau Ketam Chinese Chess Society.


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  • Wader Quest the newsletter (January 2018)

    Wader Quest the newsletter is the main publication of Wader Quest, which is a charity that aims to involve local groups and communities in Wader conservation.


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  • Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) with the Kampung Sungai Serdang Communities

    Ms Nabilah Binti Jamaludin Community Research Assistant of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) I had the opportunity to introduce bird watching activity to the  Kampung Sungai Serdang community. At…


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  • Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) with the SG Buloh Sasaran Community

    Ms. Anisah Ahmad Community RA of Malaysian Nature Society The Asian Waterbird Cencus (AWC) was held at Sungai Buloh Sasaran together with the community on 20th January…


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  • Waterbird Census in Sumatran Tiger Hot Spot

    Hizbullah Arief (Communication and Reporting Specialist at Sumatran Tiger Project) Yus Rusila Noor (Head of Programme, Wetlands International Indonesia) What do Sumatran tigers…


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  • Interview with a Winner of 2017 Knots Drawing Competition: A Young Birder in the Making

    Jeongsu Yuk, the Flyway Prize winner in category C of 2017 Knots Drawing Competition…


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  • 不安定な政治情勢が種の損失をもたらす

    Read in English 2017年12月20日 ケンブリッジ大学(訳:天野達也博士) 世界の生物多様性について大規模な解析を行った研究により、人類の環境に対する影響を示す他のどの指標よりも、各国におけるガバナンスの有効性の低さが種の減少を最もよく説明することが示された。社会・政治情勢が不安定である国では、保護区の効果も望めないことが示されている。 過去30年に及ぶ世界の生物種の変化を調べた大規模な研究によって、経済成長や気候変動、人口増加など様々な要因の中で、各国におけるガバナンスの有効性の低さが種の減少を最もよく説明する要因だということが示された。 Nature誌に発表されたこの研究では、保護区は生物多様性の保全に有効であるものの、その効果は社会・政治情勢が安定している国でのみ得られるということも示されている。 この研究では、水鳥類の生息地である湿地生態系が地球上で最も豊かな生物多様性を維持している一方、現在最も脅威にさらされているという点に注目し、1990年からの水鳥種の動態を生物多様性全般の変化を表す指標として用いた。 ケンブリッジ大学が主導した国際チームによるこの研究では、全世界における2万6千の調査地で記録された461種の水鳥に関する240万件にも及ぶデータが解析された。 チームはこの巨大なデータを用いて、まず様々な国や地域における局所的な水鳥個体数の変化を定量化した。次にその結果と、各国における暴力発生率や法による支配、政治腐敗などガバナンスの様々な側面を指標化したWorldwide…


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