Tuesday, June 25

Thai Hornbill expert to speak at Sarawak Bird Race 2011


KUCHING: Dr Pilai Poonswad, one of the leading conservationists for hornbills in Thailand, will be the guest speaker of Sarawak Bird Race 2011, to be held from Oct 29 to 30 at Permai Rainforest Resort in Santubong here.

She will deliver two topics on hornbills, ‘Hornbills and their significance’ and ‘Seeking suitable nesting trees for hornbills’.

According to Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), the co-organiser of the event, Pilai’s field of expertise is Avian Parasitology and Avian Biology and Ecology.

She was the representative of Thailand in the International Ornithological Committee, a founder and committee member of Hornbill Research Foundation and elected as Honorary Fellow of American Ornithologists’ Union.

She is currently Professor of Biology at the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok.

Lately, she has received numerous honours and awards for her scientific work and contribution to conservation.

MNS said in a press statement yesterday that four out of eight species of hornbills had been recorded at Borneo Highland Resort and Permai Rainforest Resort, the co-organisers of the event.

The species are the white-crowned hornbill, wreathed hornbill, black hornbill and rhinoceros hornbill.

The other four species of hornbills are the bushy-crested hornbill, wrinkled hornbill, oriental pied hornbill and helmeted hornbill.

MNS pointed out that even though Sarawak was called the ‘Land of Hornbills’, the state had less species of hornbills compared with neighbouring countries.

The nature society said the Peninsula has 10 species, Philippines-nine species while both Indonesia and Thailand have 13 species.

Apart from the bird race which will be flagged off at 8am on Oct 30, members of the public could expect other side events such as bird photography exhibition, nature and night walks, junior nature activity as well as seminars and talks.