30 Jan Myanmar survey finds 20 previously unrecorded birds

Written by Mizzima Published in Environment Read 3765 times
A Purple Swamphen bird flies over the water at Moeyungyee wetland wildlife sanctuary, Bago Division, Myanmar, January 14, 2014. Every year, Moeyungyee wetland wildlife sanctuary sees thousands of migratory birds come to Moeyungyee as part of a network of wetlands located along the East Asian Australian Flyway. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA
A Purple Swamphen bird flies over the water at Moeyungyee wetland wildlife sanctuary, Bago Division, Myanmar, January 14, 2014. Every year, Moeyungyee wetland wildlife sanctuary sees thousands of migratory birds come to Moeyungyee as part of a network of wetlands located along the East Asian Australian Flyway. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

A far-reaching survey of bird species in Myanmar has led to the discovery of 20 new bird species, according to an Associated Press report January 29.

According to U Thet Zaw Naing, one of the surveyors, the Great Frigate and the tiny Pied Falconet were among 20 previously undocumented birds seen during a four-year field survey by the Bird and Nature Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Flora and Fauna International and several other ornithological associations.

The team including U Thet Zaw Naing logged 1,114 species from 2010 to 2014, he said, adding seven were endemic to Myanmar.

U Thet Zaw Naing is one of the surveyors who has painstakingly observed and logged birds in various sites across Myanmar over the years. He describes himself as a bird and nature conservationist, who is the Bird Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society Myanmar Programme, secretary of the Myanmar Bird and Nature Society, and country coordinator for Wetlands International.

Environmentalists worry that Myanmar, one of Asia’s last refuges of biodiversity, is at threat as the country opens up. More land it being used for agriculture, pesticide use is increasing, and poaching continues.