THE inaugural Borneo International Bird Race is due to take place in May and June across Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, and has already confirmed participation from international bird enthusiasts.
Organised by Sandakan Borneo Bird Club with support from the respective tourism boards, the event will be launched on May 31 at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei.
The race will kick off on June 1 at Ulu Temburong, continue at Borneo Highlands Resort in Sarawak on June 4, Kinabalu Park in Sabah on June 6 and the Rainforest Discovery Centre Sandakan on June 8.
Participants must take part in the entire race and aim to identify the most number of species within 24 hours for each leg.
Organisers are expecting bird clubs from 10 countries to send three representatives each. Countries that have confirmed their participation so far are India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, said Roger Rajah, manager of AsiaMemories Brunei and organiser for the Brunei chapter of the race.
According to him, bird watchers from Malaysia and Brunei are forbidden from joining the race as they would have an unfair advantage.
Rajah added: “It is a good opportunity for inbound operators in Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei to package tours as participants tend to come with their families.”