Report by Lim Kim Chye
Images by Zuraidah
Do you know how many threatened bird species there are in Peninsular Malaysia? No need to check your references, one school kid could tell me the answer on the spot – 123 species! The occasion was the quiz session at the end of my talk “Birds of Malaysia” presented on 13 July to some 500 primary students. The event was part of the national Nature Camp organized in Lenggong, Perak by the Ministry of Education.
In keeping with the age of the group, the presentation covered general topics, brightened up with colourful and interesting bird pictures. Starting with some hard facts on Malaysian birds, I then introduced some well-known bird families such as kingfishers, woodpeckers and raptors and briefly mentioned their food and habitat preferences. Then followed what I think is the most interesting topic, the relationship between humans and birds, where I spoke about human use of birds and vice versa, how birds in turn take advantage of humans. The final part of the talk was on threats to birds and what Malaysia is doing to protect our birds.
The event was at night and despite having had a long day, the students were attentive and interested, perhaps due to my pre-talk tip about the quiz but maybe because of the subject matter too. Three kids answered my questions correctly and walked away with the Garden Bird cards. However, those that did not get their chance at the questions were not disappointed. They snapped up all the bird cards that I brought along for sale. I like to think that the talk did kindle some of the young minds there to appreciate our birds more!