By: Azlan Abdul Rahman
Grey Heron (Ardea cineria), Black-Shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) , Crest Serpent-Eagle (Spilomis cheela) and Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus) are some of the protected birds which can be found in Malaysia. There are several species of bird which are totally protected under the Malaysia Protection of Wildlife Act 1972. Some of them come from the family of Heron, Stork, Kite, Eagle, Goshawk and Tern. Their habitats range from the seashore, hillside and rainforest to residential areas.
Taking Penang as an example, there are a lot of birds which used to stay and live here. Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana) chooses the shore along Permatang Binjai and Sungai Cenaam to live and breed. Same goes to Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) where they select Penang National Park as their natural habitat. The green, serene and natural environment of those places helps their survival. So, in order to help them to live a longer time, we need to not only conserve the birds themselves but also the whole environment which is their habitat and place to find food.
We are lucky because our land and sea are not only fit and suitable to local birds but also to the migratory birds. For instance, the Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus), which is a species of protected heron that comes from South China, chooses Malaysia as its resting and relaxing place after the long journey of flight. Previous studies showed that our peace and untouched environment is the first reason of why they choose Malaysia, especially some places in Penang, as their place to find food and to breed. This kind of heron can be easily found in Penaga, Sungai Bakau and Ampang Jajar. They choose mangrove area as their main habitat because of the factor of suitability in finding their foods. So we also need to conserve this mangrove area if we want to protect this little heron.
These birds need our care and love to protect them. We can help them continue their lives for the next generation by conserving their natural habitat. We should stop hunting them and also preserve their species. Please protect them!