27 January 2011

Seen a raptor on our shores? Share your sighting!

Yong Ding Li and Tan Kok Hui are doing a study on our endangered raptors focusing on the Grey-headed Fish-Eagle and Changeable Hawk Eagle. They need your help to share sightings and information on them!
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle
Here's an email from  Ding Li about their project.

Changeable Hawk Eagle
Studying endangered raptors in Singapore

Raptors, which include buzzards, kites and eagles, are among the largest predators left in Singapore with the extinction of most carnivorous mammals. As apex predators, they play important ecological roles in controlling the populations of prey species in local food chains and are also especially sensitive to environmental changes, as indicated by numerous studies in other countries.

Seven raptor species are known to be resident in Singapore, while many more are migratory. Despite the fact that many of our resident raptors like the White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Changeable Hawk Eagle are commonly observed, there is hardly any research attention on raptors in Singapore and much remains to be learnt of these spectacular birds.

Currently, there are two nationwide studies to determine the national distribution, population and breeding ecology of two of Singapore’s endangered raptors, namely the Changeable Hawk Eagle and the Grey-headed Fish-Eagle.

The study on the Changeable Hawk Eagle is supported by a small research grant from the Nature Society (Singapore)’s Bird group while the study on the Grey-headed Fish-Eagle is a collaborative effort between the Nature Society (Singapore) and the South-east Asian Biodiversity Society.

As both studies aim to document these raptors in Singapore as completely as possible over one breeding season (December 2010 – July 2011), we look forward to contributions of field observations from all observers within this period, particularly nesting behavior.

We would like to specifically receive information on:
1. Location of nest (GPS coordinates, if possible and name of the site)
2. Tree species of nesting tree/estimated height of nest
3. Vegetation around nest area and estimated distance from water body (for Grey-headed Fish-Eagle only)
4. Number of chicks in nest and a brief description of chick
5. Observed prey items, preferably identified to species if possible
6. Behavior of adults in and around the nest (e.g. perched beside nest, incubating,
carrying prey)
7. Date and Time of observation

All observations and queries on the Changeable Hawk Eagle can be submitted to Tan Kok Hui at kokhuitan@yahoo.co.uk

All observations and queries on the Grey-headed Fish-Eagle can be submitted to Yong Ding Li at zoothera@yahoo.com

For more information on general raptor ecology in South-East Asia, the Nature Society (Singapore) and South-East Asian Biodiversity Society has put together a freely accessible booklet, downloadable at URL: http://wildbirdsingapore.nss.org.sg/Raptor%20Manual_circa.pdf. You can also access the pdf via this link http://wildbirdsingapore.nss.org.sg/indexA.html

Information on the small grants scheme for bird conservation research, a bird research grant coordinated by the Nature Society (Singapore) can be found at this URL: http://wildbirdsingapore.nss.org.sg

All contributions will be duly acknowledged in the study. We thank all who has submitted records and welcome further submissions.

Yong Ding Li and Tan Kok Hui

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