Malaysia has an extensive coastline and is bordered by both the Andaman and South China Seas. Priority species include the Chinese Crested Tern (CR), Christmas Island Frigatebird (CR) and Streaked Shearwater (LC) as well as several species of Booby, Tern and Noddy. There is a lack of current and ongoing research of seabirds and many of the last proper surveys were made over 20 years ago. There is an ongoing bycatch monitoring programme in Malaysia for marine taxa, research suggests that turtles are the species most effected and seabirds currently account for only 0.01% of the catch reported. There are four potential sites for new IBAs in Pulau Perak, Sembilan Islands, Tioman Islands and Mersing Island. The Malaysian Nature Society is lobbying for IBAs to be formally incorporated into Protected Area planning which may be hindered or benefited by the concept of marine IBAs.
Key threats to Malaysian seabird species include
o Poaching/ egg collecting, an especially significant threat for the Chinese Crested Tern
o Introduced species
o Confirm the four new seabird breeding sites as IBAs
o Raise awareness about seabirds within Malaysia
o Update the surveys of Booby breeding sites (areas which haven't been surveyed since the 1980s)
o Proceed with development of sustainable ecotourism
o Determine the status of Aleutian Terns wintering in Malaysia
Government's support/relevant policy
Malaysia has committed to transforming 10% of its marine areas into marine parks by the year 2020. Currently MPAs can only be designated from the low water mark up to two nautical miles from the coast. The management of land and marine areas falls under different government departments and there can be problems attributing seabirds to either department. Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.
Petrels and shearwaters
Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans
Investigating The Total Economic Value Of Eco-Tourism In Pulau Payar Marine Park (www.dmpm.nre.gov.my/files/Final%20Report.pdf)
BirdLife International (2014) Country profile: Malaysia. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/malaysia. Checked: 2014-03-10