Blog,  Flora & Fauna

Langkawi; Against Illegal Mist Nets

Langkawi has a rich diversity of ecosystems and habitat types, includes lowland broadleaf rainforest, mangrove forest, reed beds, rice paddies, orchards, scrublands and mudflats. This therefore ensures a correspondingly rich diversity in birdlife on the island. Langkawi is home to approximately 267 species of birds (and counting), of which about one third are migrants. These migrants winter here between the months of September and April.

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Langkawi; Against Illegal Mist Nets    
Langkawi going through dry season in March and some of the Padi field farmers will begin to harvest their crop soon. The practice of trapping and killing birds might be slowly dying out in Langkawi with the new generation less interested on having birds as pets, so hopefully in the not too distant future illegal mist nets will be a thing of the past in Langkawi.

In the meantime the habit of trapping birds during harvesting season is still widely practiced. Most appear to be erected by poor people who will likely eat the birds caught.  For me, it is always with a heavy heart to report illegal mist net, knowing on the one hand that they are illegal under Malaysia law but, at the same time, that for some people, bird trapping may form an important part of their income. The main target birds for food are White-breasted water hens and Watercocks.

The rest of birds that frequented the paddy field but consider inedible such as White-throated Kingfishers, Herons, Red Wattled Lapwing, Crakes, Black Shoulder Kites, Bats were left to die slowly on the net. Discovering Illegal mist nets is a very disturbing experience for nature lover and more so for birders.

A single mist net 20 meters by 3 meters left overnight can traps over 20 birds. A mist nets left in a week can catch up to 140 birds. If there are 20 places like this along the Langkawi padi fields and coat line (which is undoubtedly a conservative estimate), the total quickly multiplies to thousands of birds killed every year.  This is simply unacceptable.

Anyone spotted mist netting in langkawi please make a report to following numbers
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan Head Quarters: 603-90866800
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan Kedah Enforcement Unit: 04-731 2200
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan  Langkawi 04-966 5421
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan in Langkawi:
Ranger Alwen 012 28350120,
Ranger Pak ku 014 2571964,
Ranger Khairul 012 4707160, 0192255570, 012 3450805.

Please call directly/ immediately to avoid more casualty.  In my experience the wildlife department of Langkawi is always responding very quickly. When report came in the morning, they reach the scene within 2 hours.
Posted By Sri Sari