World Migratory Bird Day 2012
Many countries around the world have been celebrating World Migratory Bird Day since 14 May 2006. Each celebrating country organizes this event in order to give and promote the information and data on migratory bird research and conservation actions to the public. Since 2011, Mongolia has been celebrating this event.
We celebrated the “World Migratory Bird Day-2012” on 12-13 May of 2012 under the theme “Migratory birds and people –together through time”.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Nature, Environment, and Tourism, Natural History Museum of Mongolia, East-Asian Australia-Asian Flyway Partnership, UNEP/CMS Secretariat World Migratory Bird Day Coordinator, and Steppe Forward, the Mongolian Ornithological Society and Ornithological Laboratory at the National University of Mongolia successfully organized the World Migratory Bird Day in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 11-13 May, 2012.
S. Gombobaatar’s lecture title was “Migratory birds and Migratory Bird Day”. He gave his lecture for 30 lecturers and students from different provinces of Mongolia at the National University of Mongolia’s conference hall.
More than 60 participants belonging to 20 institutes and organizations were registered in the event at the conference room of the School of Biology and Biotechnology at the National University of Mongolia. Each participant received a pack containing a poster and sticker of World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), post card, calendar of birds of Mongolia and ‘A Field Guide to Birds of Khurkh-Khuiten River Valley’.
After registration, an opening speech was given by Dr. B. Lkhagvasuren, National Representative of Science and Technical Panel of the CMS to all registered participants. D.Batbold,director of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism also sent his greetings to participants from the field.
After the opening speech, Dr. S.Gombobaatar introduced all collaborating and financing individuals, institutions, and organizations to the participants. The event was sponsored by the Mongolian Ornithological Society, East-Asian Australia-Asian Flyway Partnership, World Migratory Bird Day Coordinator at the UNEP/CMS Secretariat, and Ornithological Laboratory of the National University of Mongolia. The East-Asian Australia-Asian Flyway Partnership supported most of the event’s expenses in Mongolia. The Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, National Council of Convention of Migratory Species, Natural History Museum, Steppe Forward, State Agriculture University, and Chingis Khaan Airport collaborated on this event.
A total of three different interesting presentations on migratory birds were given by members of the Society. The first presentation was titled “World Migratory Bird Day” by D.Usukhjargal, Hustai National Park and a board member of the Mongolian Ornithological Society. His presentation was an introduction to WMBD, it’s history and future development.
The second presentation was given by Dr. S.Gombobaatar, Mongolian Ornithological Society and head of Ornithological Laboratory of the National University of Mongolia titled “Migratory birds of Mongolia”. His talk highlight was Migration patterns of Migratory Bird Species in Mongolia, Migratory species’ status, and conservation in the country.
The third presentation, titled “The National Bird for Mongolia” was presented by P.Jargalsaikhan, member of the Mongolian Ornithological Society and Ornithological Laboratory of the National University of Mongolia. Preliminary results of the National Bird Vote which was collected across the country from 2009 to 2012 were introduced to all the participants. According to the vote, The National Bird elected was the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) for Mongolia.
After the presentations, all participants had a tea and coffee break and had a free discussion on different issues of migratory birds. Then all participants chose to discuss one of two options of documentary film “Oriental Honey-buzzard in Taiwan” and “Life” by the BBC. The majority of participants chose to watch and discuss the “Life” Documentary serials. A short translation and explanation of the documentary were given to all participants by Dr. S. Gombobaatar during the film screening.
The Natural History Museum and Mongolian Ornithological Society opened a photograph exhibition on “Migratory Birds of Mongolia” and “The National Birdof Mongolia” for the event WMBD-2012, Mongolia. The participants went to the exhibition and enjoyed the migratory bird photographs taken by members of the Mongolian Ornithological Society.
During lunch, participants headed out of Ulaanbaatar to the field for some bird watching. It took 30 minutes to get the site. There are a few fresh water ponds, created by
a quarry company near Ulaanbaatar. All participants were split into 4 groups depending on experience and watched birds at the pond. A sudden heavy snow storm and strong wind could not stop participants’ bird watching or the bird identification competition!
From the each group, 1-2 participants took part in the competition. The first stage of the competition was to identify 5 different species of waterfowl in the pond. Each competitor had binoculars and telescope donated by Mrs Susan Sloan and Chris Leahy, from Audubon Society, USA and field guide books supported by the Society. A total of 9 competitors identified five species of waterfowl in the pond and shorebirds on shores within 5 minutes. Organizing committee’s referees eliminated a total of four competitors out of 9. Then the five competitors competed against each other on the identification of all species of migratory birds in the pond.
Ms U. Azzaya was awarded by the first prize. She received 4 different books and field note books that were recently published by the Mongolian Ornithological Society and Ornithological Laboratory of the National University of Mongolia.
Ms. B. Bayasgalantselmeg was awarded the second prize. She received 3 different books and field note books that were recently published by the Mongolian Ornithological Society and Ornithological Laboratory of the National University of Mongolia.
Mr T. Munkhnast was awarded the third prize. He received 2 different books and field note books that were recently published by the Mongolian Ornithological Society and Ornithological Laboratory of the National University of Mongolia.
After the competition, all participants and organizing committee members had a relaxed talk and open discussion on the future development of this event in the country.
We conclude that:
1. More school children and students will be invited to the event in 2013.
2. The event should be closely collaborated with Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism.
3. More financial support will be needed to extend this event through the country.
4. Photograph and illustration contest will be organized for school children on the theme “Migratory Birds -Our Friends”.
5. World Migratory Bird Day-2013 and “National Bird Fair and National Bird Watching Day” will be organized on the same day in 2013.