Malaysia: Langkawi seeks to woo birdwatchers

New Straits Times 30 Nov 14;

THE Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) will promote bird tourism in an effort to attract more tourists to the island, particularly wildlife enthusiasts from around the globe, said Lada chief executive officer Tan Sri Khalid Ramli.

He said more than 230 bird species had been recorded on the legendary island, making it a potential hotspot for birdwatchers.

“In Langkawi, there are three species of hornbill and, interestingly, we have recorded 104 great hornbills (Buceros bicornis) on this island at one time.

“Bird tourism has the potential to be developed on this island and would be of great benefit for the people of Langkawi,” he said after opening the Fifth Asian Bird Fair at the Oriental Village here yesterday.

He said by integrating birdwatching as a tourist attraction, local residents stood to gain as this would further contribute to the local economy.

Khalid said Lada had also organised several workshops to educate the local community on the opportunities available from bird tourism.

Additionally, he said, Lada would also develop a butterfly farm on the island, considering there were more than 550 species of butterflies on Langkawi.

He said this would add value to the island’s eco-tourism as it was blessed with a diversity of flora and fauna.

Commenting on the two-day Asian Bird Fair, which began yesterday, he said this was the first time Malaysia played host since the event was first organised in the Philippines in 2010.

The sixth edition of the annual event will take place in Singapore next year. Bernama

Langkawi a bird-watching hotspot
New Straits Times 1 Dec 14;

LANGKAWI: Langkawi has become one of the world’s bird-watching destinations as the island magnetises bird lovers from other countries.

Cristina R. Cinco, 53, from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines is one of them. She said she was here for the 5th Asian Bird Fair and was amazed by the beautiful and colourful bird species found on the island. Cinco, who has six years of bird-watching experience, said she still felt excited whenever she spotted a bird.

Indonesian Tri Susanti Yasin, 32, said she was happy to be able to share information about birds with other participants.

The event aims to showcase bird fairs in Asia, promote the protection of birds and their habitat, and encourage bird-watching. Bernama

Bird watchers flock to Langkawi to attend fair
The Star 1 Dec 14;

LANGKAWI: Langkawi has become one of the world’s major bird-watching destinations as the island attracts bird lovers from other countries.

Cristina R. Cinco, 53, from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, is one of them and she is at the Oriental Village here to join in the 5th Asian Bird Fair (ABF) 2014.

Making her maiden trip to Malaysia, she is amazed at the many beautiful and colourful species of birds found on the island.

“It is such an honour to be part of this fair and it is exciting to see the different species of birds which Langkawi has,” she said.

According to Cinco, although she has been involved in bird-watching activities for almost six years, every time she spots a bird, she feels a shot of fresh excitement.

She was amazed over how Langkawi residents preserved the natural habitat for the birds in spite of rapid development.

Tri Susanti Yasin, 32, from Indonesia said: “I feel happy to be here and to share information on birds with participants from other countries ... It helps me to understand more about birds,” she added.

The ABF is an annual event founded by six organisations from Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. — Bernama