One of the upcoming birdwatching places in Perak is the Geopark Lembah Kinta, which Perak Tourism announced in 2021. This is also one of the areas where the state tourism body would like to explore for 2022 onwards.
Geopark Lembah Kinta is also managed by the Department of Minerals and Geosciences Malaysia, Perak, government agencies, statutory bodies and institutions of higher learning and owned by the Perak State Government.
Bird Watching at Geopark Lembah Kinta
Lembah Kinta is commonly known to Malaysians as it is a rich heritage site due to its mining and geological history. For now, only locals know about this unique place and plans to promote this as a tourism destination is on the way.
The location on the Geopark Lembah Kinta is also very near Ipoh city, the capital of Perak state. The main locations are located east of Ipoh city, but you may be a little confused when you check Google Maps because someone has renamed many of the attractions under the “Geopark Lembah Kinta”.
This has now complicated the actual location for birdwatching here. The whole Geopark issue is to get it recognised by UNESCO; therefore, they are now very pumped up to promote the Geopark Kinta plan.
What Birds to Spot at Geopark Lembah Kinta?
For now, there is no conclusive number of bird species recorded overall for this area, but if there is, I will edit this article to add on. From what I have seen, there have been certain records shared.
Waterbirds at Geopark Lembah Kinta
According to a study done by UTAR Kampar, there are 82 different species of waterbirds from 17 families that have been recorded in Kinta Valley, and a majority of them are found around the main UTAR campus area. Below are some areas where you can find waterbirds;
UTAR Bird Sanctuary
Kinta Nature Park
Malim Nawar Wetlands
An article was published in the newspapers in June 2021 highlighting the tourism activities at the Geopark Lembah Kinta, which read;
The Perak government is now planning to have more tourism-based activities at geoparks in the state, says Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi.
The state Tourism Committee chairman said the activities include bird watching, hiking and virtual runs, adding that the Perak government geopark is located in the Kinta district.
“Together with other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), we will also include geopark vouchers, ecotourism activities and more, ” she said after attending a People of Remarkable Talent Facebook live session on Saturday (June 5).
Nolee Ashilin added that the state is also looking into adding activities at several state tourist attractions. “Tourism spots such as Kellie’s Castle, Tin Dredge TT5 and Herbs Gardens are currently undergoing several upgrades to allow more tourism activities.
“We have started these projects, but it is currently on hold due to the ongoing movement control order,” added Nolee Ashilin.
On a separate matter, Nolee Ashilin said several local universities and NGOs would be working on conducting research on Gunung Kanthan.
“Quarry activities at Gunung Kanthan were taken over by a company in May 2019. The previous developer had initially agreed to conserve a certain area there as it is the habitat of an endemic spider species called the liphistius kanthan,” she said.
She added that the state government has been told that the current developer is working together with Universiti Malaya, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Monash University and Tropical Rainforest Conservation to conduct research in the area.
On May 27, at least seven NGOs urged the state government to fully commit towards preserving two geoparks in the Kinta Valley as they are currently facing the risk of destruction if not given immediate attention and preservation efforts.
This follows a decision by the state government to extend the land lease of a cement company last year. On this, Nolee Ashilin said that the developer has yet to start any quarrying activities.
“At the moment, the developer has not shown any documentation or quarry plan of the area to the state Mineral and Geoscience department. Any request by them will go through all procedures including an Environmental Impact Assessment before its approval,” she said.
What is Geopark Lembah Kinta?
The Geopark Lembah Kinta area is a lowland area formed by limestone and shale rock. Nearly 80 per cent of the Lembah Kinta area is based on a layer of limestone, with some appearing on the surface, forming an upright wall or mountain known as karst topography.
Lembah Kinta Geopark is flanked by two massive granite rock ranges: the Kledang Range on the west and the Titiwangsa Range on the east.
Until there is more solid or accurate news, we can assume that Bird Watching at Geopark Lembah Kinta will be one of the sub-tourism activities. I, too, would be interested to see where are the exact locations that will be mentioned.
For now, those who head here will know that there are some interesting locations for birdwatching at the Kinta Valley and have not talked much about it. Perhaps one of these days, I will make a trip up north to explore this place.