KOTA KINABALU: Rarely sighted birds – the likes of the Red Naped and Scarlet rumped trogons, the White Browed sharma and the Oriental Bay owl – are among those captured and recorded by scientists participating in the 10-day Imbak Canyon Scientific Expedition.
The expedition took place between November 25 and December 5, last year.
One of the participants, Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) officer Titol Peter Malim, said that they had recorded all of the 71 birds said to be found at Imbak Canyon Conservation Area or ICCA.
However, he opined that the checklist of birds that could be found at ICCA was incomplete and more inputs were needed.
His argument is that Sabah has in its record 540 species of birds, thus signifying that there should be more.
He also said that there are but a few individuals in Sabah who are capable in identifying birds.
“In the (state) government, I can name only three people. One of them works at the Sabah Parks while two are attached with the Sabah Wildlife Department in Lok Kawi,” he said.
Due to this, there is a need to increase staff (government) capacity in bird survey, he said.
His survey area took place in Tongod, which is one of the biggest districts in Sabah.
“During the bird survey, we cannot cover more than two kilometers even though the trails were easy, but it is hard to make the bird survey in such a short time. Due to that, we decided to simply check on the biodiversity of birds at ICCA,” he said.
On a different note, he said that bird-watching could become an attraction of its own at ICCA and at the Kinabatangan area.
“Bird-watching is a very specialised hobby. It is a good way to promote ecotourism in the Kinabatangan,” he said.