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malaysiakini: Malaysia selected as Important Bird Area

Malaysia has been selected as an Important Bird Area (IBA), said Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general Zulkifly Md Said.

He said nearly 12,000 sites in 218 countries have been identified as IBAs. For a site to qualify as an IBA, it must meet a standardised criteria based on the presence of species that are of worldwide conservation concern.

“In our bid to promote and create awareness on Malaysia as a bird watching paradise, we will continue to participate in International Bird Fairs and also provide the necessary cooperation and support to further highlight bird-related events around Malaysia,” he said during his speech at the launch of website in Kuching today.

Zulkifly said, Malaysia has great potential to develop itself as the ultimate bird watching paradise because of the diversity of bird species and locations.

Malaysia has over 795 bird species, of which nearly 60 per cent are in Pahang and Langkawi Island.

“The climate and habitat types are among factors which contribute to this region being extremely rich in birds and other biodiversity,” he said, adding that ecotourism, especially bird watching and bird photography tours, will attract more tourists to Malaysia.

From January until June this year, the number of tourist arrivals recorded was 13.35 million, a growth of 4.9 per cent over the corresponding period last year, contributing RM41.69 billion to the country’s revenue during the first half of 2019.

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