Myanmar migratory bird census to be taken by locals

The Asian migratory bird census which is usually conducted yearly will be taken in collaboration with local communities in Myanmar this year, said Daw Thiri Daewi Aung, executive director at Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA).

“Normally, the migratory bird census is taken in the second week of January as Asian water bird census every year. As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, our team will not be able to go there. So, local people will collect the data, and it also depends on the reopening conditions. We’ll be able to collect data in some townships which have been removed from stay-at-home restrictions,” she said.

Myanmar has two of the nine flyways which the migratory birds take around the world. They are the Central Asian Flyway, and the East Asian Australasian Flyway. These two paths include the Mottama Gulf, Indawgyi Lake, Moe Yoon Gyi Wetland, Inle Lake, and Mein Mahla Kyun. Migratory birds enter Myanmar from these locations.

“Migratory bird census is conducted in Pyu Lake, Paleik Lake. Banaw Lake and Taungthaman Lake in central Myanmar and Mon Yun Gyi Lake in the south, Inle Lake in the east, Nan Thar island in Rakhine, Mottama Gulf and Kahin state simultaneously,” she said.

Endangered wildlife in Myanmar are divided into three categories by the Forest Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation – 577 Fully Protected Wildlife, 318 Normally Protected Wildlife, and 914 Seasonally Protected Wildlife.

Under the Conservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Law, anyone convicted of breeding endangered wildlife without permission shall be punished up to three years in prison, or receive a fine of between K200,000 to K500,000 lakh, or both. Anyone convicted of killing or hunting fully protected wildlife shall be punished with 3-10 years in prison.

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Phyo Wai Kyaw