Indonesia: Lake Limboto is safe haven for migratory birds

Antara 5 Apr 16;

Gorontalo (ANTARA News) - Lake Limboto in Gorontalo Province is a safe haven for migratory birds as it has been visited by long-distance flyers from around the world, an observer stated on Tuesday.

Therefore, it is necessary to spread awareness in the society and across the world on the importance of Lake Limboto as a temporary habitat for migratory birds, an observer of biodiversity of the Wildlife Conservation Society Iwan Hunowu noted here on Tuesday.

To achieve the goal, the local forum called Gorontalos Biodiversity Forum has registered Gorontalo as one of the participants to commemorate World Migratory Bird Day to shed light on the illegal hunting of migratory birds at Lake Limboto.

"We want to invite the society and government in an effort to save Lake Limbotos ecosystem and its role as a safe haven for migratory birds," Hunowu remarked.

A media campaign, bird watching, workshops to spread awareness, and an international video competition on bird migration will be some of the events held to mark World Migratory Bird Day.

"We will start the event on May 10, 2016, with a bird-watching activity involving journalists, society members, children, and observers," Hunowu pointed out.

The forum has also uploaded a video, which showcases the story of migratory birds in Lake Limboto as part of its online campaign.

Based on observation, Gorontalos Biodiversity Forum has identified some 35 species of migratory birds visiting Lake Limboto.

Most of the long-distance visitors belonged to the species of shorebirds such as the Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), pin-tailed snipes or pintail snipes (Gallinago stenura), glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola), marsh sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), and sharp-tailed sandpiper (Calidris acuminata).

A photographer of Gorontalos Biodiversity Forum Rosyid Azhar had taken a picture of a bird, which bore a tag of the Victorian flag of Australia, at Lake Limboto in August, last year.

"I uploaded the photo and received a response from an Australian birdwatcher, saying that the bird had been tagged," Azhar revealed.

Roger Standen from the Australasian Wader Study Group confirmed that the observed bird had migrated from Victoria, Australia, and had travelled a distance of 4,795 kilometers across the ocean to reach Lake Limboto.

Bird migrations at Lake Limboto peak during the period between August and November.

However, the very survival of Lake Limboto is threatened as it is gradually getting shallower due to constant sedimentation, increase in the population of water hyacinths, and large number of houses being built along the banks of the lake.

(Reporting by Debby Hariyanti Mano/Uu.A059/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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