Hooked Birds at Muang Boran Fishponds
24th May a visit was made to Muang Boran Fishponds where, unfortunately,
more dead and dying birds were found suspended from hooks and caught
in mist nets.
were too decayed to identify but an apparent Striated Grassbird
and a Pied Fantail were found dead in one net. Worse still, a Little
Grebe was seen struggling, caught on a suspended hook and a Greater
Painted Snipe was also severley injured in this way.
For more information
and photos click here: Birds Dying
and Dead at Muang Boran Fishponds
Upton, 25th May 2008
Nets at Tung Bang Jak
Bang Jak is an area of rice paddies and reedy areas where a large
number of open-country and wetland birds can be found. In the early
morning, in particular, the numbers of birds that birders can find
is quite impressive. Unfortunately, it now seems that bird catchers
are equally impressed by the numbers of birds present as on 19th April
2008, Ashley Banwell and I found a single mist net strung up next
to the road, adjacent to an area of rice paddies where numerous birds
this practice is rather too commonly encountered whilst birdwatching
in Thailand. Birds are captured either for the cage bird trade,
for food or for selling at temples where releasing caged birds (usually
Munias) is considered "merit making".
Upton, 1st May 2008
Corpses at Muang Boran Fishponds
number of birds dying in nets and on the end of hooks at Muang Boran
Fishponds seems to have increased, with Yellow and Cinnamon Bitterns
appearing to suffer in particular from these hazards.
It does not
appear that these birds are being trapped for food as the corpses
are allowed to decay where they were caught, instead it seems that
these measures are designed to protect fish stocks.
For more information
and photos click here: Large
numbers of dead birds at Muang Boran Fishponds.
Upton, 8th March 2008
Trapping at Chiang Dao Paddies
the paddie fields and other agricultural areas close to Chiang Dao
are an excellent place to find birds, particularly Grey-headed Lapwing,
Wire-tailed Swallow and Oriental Skylark, it was disappointing to
see that on both 30th January and 8th February 2008 a line of mist
nets existing close to the small crossroads where Wire-tailed Swallows
Whilst no bird
corpses were observed in the nets (presumably they had been removed
for eating) it was very upsetting to find a large number of feathers
belonging to an owl, probably a Barn Owl, by the side of the road
at the same location. The feathers were in a pile as if they were
the result of plucking on site and had been discarded in a pile.
It is a shame
that many places which are good for birdwatching seem to have been
discovered by bird trappers as well.
Upton, 27th February 2008
Increase in Bird Trapping at Chiang Saen
huge increase in the practice of mist netting and other kinds of
bird trapping have resulted in at least 300 Snipe corpses for sale
at Chiang Saen market, despite these practices being illegal.
this type of persecution remains all too common. For the full story
click here: Mass Trapping of Birds
at Chiang Saen.
by Nick Upton, 30th September 2007 from information supplied by
increase of fishing methods potentially dangerous to birds at Chiang
has been noted that recently the use of long line nets, both in
deep water and in shallow areas close to shore, seems to have increased
at Nong Bong Khai (Chiang Saen Lake).
these long line nets were easily detected due to the plastic bottles
that were used for buoyancy, however, recently these long line nets
have been attached to poles and submerged - a worrying obstacle
for diving ducks such as the increasingly uncommon Baer's
It has also
been noted that groups of people are visiting the lake for a few
days and catching large amounts of fish in funnel traps, leaving
large amounts of litter in the process. Whilst this is probably
a lesser threat directly to bird safety (although rails have been
known to become trapped in this type of contraption), it does potentially
have a large impact on the overall ecology of the lake if fish stocks
are greatly reduced by outsiders who do not rely upon them for part
of their livelihood.
Anyone who discovers
such activities that appear to be illegal should report them to
the Non-hunting Area staff and should not attempt to intervene themselves.
Reporting such activities to the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand
would also be advisable so that they can monitor the scale of these
by Nick Upton on 11th September 2007 from information kindly supplied
by Mick Davies and
Shooting and Trapping at Muang Boran
shooting and two locals trapping White-breasted Waterhens were reported
from Muang Boran Fishponds on the 15th January, to remind us that
this area is just as good for bird eaters as it is for bird watchers.
Upton, 3rd February 2007.
Nets at Thai Muang Marsh, Phang-Nga
mist net was reported to be in place at Thai Muang Marsh on the 13th
November, with a Booted Eagle hunting precariously closely. It can
only be a matter of time before this net becomes full of birds destined
for the markets of nearby towns.
Upton, 14th December 2006.
of Birds at Muang Boran
recent report of four Black-capped Kingfishers seen caught in a
mist net at Muang Boran Fishponds proves that bird persecution is
still a problem there. I visited the site on many occasions from
May 2000 to April 2004 and frequently saw birds caught on fish hooks
suspended above fishponds. It seemed to me that these rows of hooks
blowing around in the wind were placed for the specific purpose
of catching birds as I only ever saw them on a few of the many ponds
at the site and fish were usually collected by draining the ponds.
Over the four
years the species I saw caught on these hooks included Common and
White-vented Mynas, Asian Pied Starling, Yellow, Black and Cinnamon
Bitterns, Black Drongo, Chinese and Javan Pond Herons, Pheasant-tailed
Jacana and Common Moorhen. A certain amount of shooting takes place
on site also and I have seen Lesser Whistling Duck and Little Cormorant
being shot for food. A hunter who I regularly met whilst birding
at Muang Boran told me how the flocks of Whistling Ducks used to
be in the thousands, but now it is more common to see around 60-70
of this species.
Upton 20th November 2006.
of Birds at Chiang Saen
of birds seems to be quite a problem in the Chiang Saen area with
Mick Davies and Dowroong Damlamajak observing both mist-netting
and shooting recently. With the Mekong bursting its banks for 6
days and flooding large areas to the east of Chiang Saen boats were
used as shooting platforms. Fortunately, and rather surprisingly,
the police responded and put a stop to this practice;
had to call the police to stop people shooting from a boat. I
was impressed how quickly the police responded, just 20 minutes,
and they were keen to observe some nearby Jerdon's Bushchats."
also commented on the almost total absence of Buntings in the area
rating Crested Buntings as "rare" and excepting this species
he'd only seen 2 other Buntings in over 1 year at Chiang Saen (although
this does include the rainy season when Buntings would not be expected).
The practice of mist-netting may contribute to this scarcity of
Buntings and could easily affect other small migratory birds.
as I expected the area is infested with mist nets and with the
arrival of wintering birds this doesn't look good."
that are sometimes found deep fried in markets across Thailand are
likely to include Buntings and it is also likely that many of these
trapped birds end up on boats going back upriver towards China either
to be eaten or for the cage bird trade.
by Nick Upton on 17/10/06 from information kindly supplied by Mick
Davies and Dowroong Damlamajak.
Pages: Abuse of Wildlife for Tourists
, Birds for sale at Chatuchak, Massive
Increase in Bird Trapping at Chiang Saen , Large
numbers of Dead Birds at Muang Boran Fishponds , Birds
Dying and Dead at Muang Boran Fishponds