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Urban development threatens mangrove bird numbers

on 18 Ogos 2011.

mangrove

FLY AWAY: Mohd Azlan looks at the nest of a mangrove robin, one of the many birds vulnerable to development.


A Conservation Biology lecturer for the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak has discovered that urban development encroachment at mangrove edges has had an adverse effect on mangrove bird populations.

Dr Mohd Azlan Jayasilan Abdul Gulam Azad, who received his doctorate from Charles Darwin University (CDU) Australia, investigated 13 mangrove patches around Darwin and concluded that the habitats surrounding the mangrove patches were important in maintaining a maximum number of birds in mangroves.

“The size of the mangrove patches is also important in maintaining a high number of mangrove-dependent bird species and various other species from nearby forests, which frequently use mangroves for breeding and foraging,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Darwin’s mangroves are home to many rare or range-restricted birds, including the chestnut rail, white-breasted whistler and mangrove robin.

His research seeks to answer fundamental ecological questions related to the driving factors for bird species composition in mangroves.

“When urban development encroaches all the way up to the mangrove edges it has adverse effects on bird assemblages including the mangrove-dependent species,” said Dr Mohd.

With his study recently published in Biological Conservation (June 2011), Dr Mohd said that conservation planning for mangrove birds must include mosaics of habitats surrounding the mangroves.

Malaysian mangroves are comparable to that in Darwin in terms of species richness.

“My research certainly can be applied to Sarawak which also has wide areas of mangroves patches and with the unrelenting development that is going on, if left unmonitored, could also spell the end to the mangrove bird’s species here.”

For more information, contact Dr Mohd Azlan Jayasilan at 082-582938.

Extracted from theborneopost.


*This article was featured in NT (Northern Territory) NEWS on 30th of March 2010 and 21st of May 2011.

Arkib Berita

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