Birds are the most widely studied group of vertebrates. They come in various colours, shapes and sizes filling up different levels of a trophic pyramid and occupying many niches of an ecosystem. This includes the top predators such as raptors and small prey species such as sparrows. Birds play significant ecological roles with respect to pollination, seed dispersal, pest control, natural carcass removal, and ecosystem engineering. Collectively, they help maintain the balance of ecosystems.
The ability of migratory birds to travel long distances has made them one of the most magnificent taxa in the world. Some species such as hornbills, woodpeckers, owls and waders have been recognized as environmental indicators. In many places, birds have generated significant income locally or nationally through birdwatching tourism.
In the Serdang campus of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), a total of 116 bird species of 47 families have been recorded including 23 migrants. The largest family groups are Ardeidae and Sturnidae (each has 9 species), followed by Accipitridae and Pycnonotidae (each has 7 species), and Columbidae (6 species). It is worth to mention that UPM has long been carrying out research on birds ranging from species diversity, species abundance, community assemblages, physiology, systematics, population genetics, ecotoxicology, biological control, behaviour, parasites, diseases to economic values. The Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Science, as well as Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences (Bintulu Campus) are among the faculties in UPM that are conducting research on birds.
As an important milestone in the field of ornithology in Malaysia, on 9th July 2012, the Faculty of Forestry, UPM and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) jointly organised the first Seminar on Malaysian Ornithology to discuss the current status and conservation challenges involved with respect to bird research and conservation. Some 40 participants comprising governmental officers, researchers, conservationists and bird enthusiasts from various agencies or institutions from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak had gathered at the Sultan Idris Shah Forestry Education Centre (SISFEC) for this significant event pertaining to Malaysian ornithology.
Muhammad Syafiq Yahya, Chong Leong Puan, Zulkifli Ishak, Salleh Sheikh Ibrahim, Sharifah Nur Atikah & Mohamed Zakaria
Updated:: 11/05/2017 [firstname.lastname@example.org]