Kuala Gula here you are – Part II: Birds sanctuary

Get to know about the migrating birds!

As previously said, Kuala Gula is known for its migrating birds. Indeed, the manager of the Wild Life Conservation Center advised us to meet the Tour Guide in his residential place, what we did. He seemed interested in sharing with us his knowledge about migrating birds. Even though he's not educated, he learned about the migration of birds along the way as an autodidact, which makes him a specialist now.

Thanks to him, we learned that during the migration season between August and April every year, more than 55 species from northern countries are estimated to stop over here. By adding all the local bird species, there are more than 190 species of birds in Kuala Gula.

Birds usually come from Siberia, make their first stop in Inner Mongolia, then in Japan, to arrive in Kuala Gula on a distance over 25 000 km. Thus, some of them fly 8000 non-stop for 7 days! One, in particular, can fly over 11000 km from Alaska to New Zealand non-stop, here it is:

Yet, in spite of this amazing asset of migrating birds, the sustainability of the environment is endangered by degradation and deforestation. Indeed, before they discover it was a migrating place, they were not so careful about the environment, throwing their rubbish on the riverside. However, this is affecting the habitat for the birds.

It's only when UNESCO came there (2002-2004), that villagers were starting realizing it. They started to raise awareness about this special place.

Clear off

Once the lifejackets were put on, it was time to steam off to the swampy coast. Once on board, our eyes marveled at the beauty of the landscape. The pond lined with mangroves is home to many different species, its swamps stretched as far as the eye can see. We even saw monkeys (they dive into the river to catch fish and other small marine mammals).

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Even if the pictures are taken from far away (Nikon D5100 105mm), we also had the chance to observe many migratory birds and hear about the Collared kingfisher singing:

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Then the guide stopped near one of the mangroves and showed us the germination process of the plant. After germinating the fruit, it releases its stem which is automatically planted in the soil to repel itself as a new plant.

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After all, after the boat visit, we continue to our next spot. Want to know how a crab can lose its shell and become limp? We will continue soon!

__ Océane

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