The Big Bird Race 2006 Results The Professional Team Won the Race with 159 Species Recorded

Posted 07 March 2006

The Big Bird Race 2006, organised by WWF on 3-4 March 2006, reached a climax on Saturday night after an exciting 24-hour bird-spotting challenge around the Hong Kong territory.

The winning team was the The Professionals recording 159 species of birds. The second place in the Race went to the Eagles with 154 bird species recorded and the third place went to the Falcons at 151 species . The total number of bird species spotted this year is 217, 12 species more than last year. The winning team of last year was the Eagles Team recording 145 species of birds.

The All Stars won the Most Funds Raised title and the Pentax Cup (for the highest number of individual sponsors) went to the JPC team with over 212 individual sponsors. The Cooper's Crippler prize for the rarest or most unusual bird seen during the Race went to the Kadoorie Cuckoos who spotted a Black-naped Oriole, at Lam Tsuen. This was a very unusual record for early March .

WWF has always maintained that it is very unlikely for people to catch the H5N1 bird flu virus from wild birds and the hobby of bird watching, due to the great distances involved. Surveillance of the wild birds at Mai Po by the Department of Microbiology, Hong Kong University has shown that of the more than 16,000 samples tested since 2003, not one has yet tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

The Race, inaugurated in 1984, aimed to raise funds for the establishment of Mai Po Nature Reserve. 90% of the funds raised from this year’s Big Bird Race will be used to carry out regular but important maintenance work within the Reserve. This includes the maintenance of the wetland habitats for wildlife such as mangroves, waterbird roosting sites and freshwater ponds as well as public facilities like birdwatching hides and boardwalks. The remaining 10% of the funds raised will be placed in the newly formed Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund, which will be used to support projects on the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.