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Population of Bird in Acacia Mangium Proposal

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 3813 words Published: 11th Apr 2018

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Bird is a class of animals that live in a wide range of environments, from the tropical regions to the polar region. Them consists over 10,000 species (Betz & Parr, n.d.). Each species of bird has a restricted range of size from small to large because the wing size of birds is vary. In tropical region, birds play roles as pest controller or pollinator to plants and animals. In Borneo, there are 643 species of birds recorded. (Wong, 2012). However, bird species found in natural forest and plantation are different.

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Many tropical forests have been converted into plantation or agriculture due to the demand of raw materials. According to FAO (XX), many private sectors are involve in forest plantation plan such as Sabah Forest Industries (SFI), Sabah Softwoods (SS), Sabah Forest Department Authority (SAFODA) and other companies. Those companies are established fast growing tree species in forest plantation area. Tree species planted are generally exotic such as Acacia mangium, Paraserianthes falcataria and Tectona grandis. The reason for plant exotic species is provide sustainable supply of wood materials for its industrial uses in short periods.

To ensure the sustainable wood material supply, fast growing species of trees are recommended to the industrial plantation. Acacia mangium is a species that contribute for the wood production in Malaysia. A. mangium has been planted widely in East Malaysia for the wood based industry. (Adam et al, n.d.) This species of tree is well develops in Sabah because of its desirable properties which is rapid growth, good wood quality and tolerance to poor soil condition. (Krisnawati et al., 2011) Acacia mangium is originates from the humid tropical forest of north-eastern Australia. The tree species was successful introduced to Sabah in the mid of 1960’s. (Krisnawati et al., 2011) This fast growing species can produce more raw materials for the industrial uses in a shorter period.

However, conversion of natural forest to plantation or agricultural will influence the habitat of bird. In forest plantation, the food resources may decrease or confine and also influence the place for nesting. As such, the relationship between species of bird and its population is important to be investigated.

1.2 Problem Statement

Birds consist of different composition base on its attribute and adaptation to forest plantation. Bird can be biological controller and pollinator. For example, biological pest control is more suitable for control of pest compare to chemical in order to ensure the quality of trees. However, bird population is different in many types of forest. The reason is mostly the development of land under the plantation planning. The land-use planning confines the vegetation such as monoculture. Vegetation in primary forest is dense and richer then forest plantation. Therefore, bird species is more diverse and the population of bird is higher.

Birds are migrates from one place to another place due to vary reason. The most common reason is environment change. Food resources are not diverse as primary forest. Mostly forest plantation is undergoes monoculture planting method. Tree species for plantation in Sabah are generally fast growing species such as Acacia mangium, Eucalyptus deglupta, Tectona grandis and others species. Clear felling before establish plantation can cause bird population decline dramatically. The reason is no suitable place for nesting and feeding.

On the other hand, this type of research is seldom done in forest plantation. However, there are some researches done in Sabah Softwoods (SS) but not yet done in SFI. The previous study is not focus on bird population in forest plantation. The study of bird population requires to updates constantly due to the global changing. Therefore, this comparison is important to obtain more precise data with the previous study.

1.3 Justification

Bird species in forest plantation remains lack of publishable information for investigate bird population in Sabah. Limitation of data will influence it credibility for future plantation planning and management. Through this research, general bird species will be investigated and evaluate the bird population in Acacia mangium plantation at the age of five year old. This finding of study can act as the future references for the occurrence and assemblage of bird species in forest plantation.

1.4 Objectives

  1. To investigate the population of bird in Acacia mangium of eight years old.
  2. To compare the bird diversity in forest plantation with the previous study.

1.5 Limitation

There are some limitations in this research. First limitation is weather. Bird observation is usually conducts under sunny or cloudy day. Observation normally does not conduct during raining day because birds are hard to identify and the safety factors. Secondly, Timing for bird observation is critical. Bird observation is conduct start from seven o’clock at morning until noon. The reason is observer require to know the bird habitats such the duration time for searching food sources.

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Definition of Bird

Bird is an animal that consists of more than 8600 species worldwide. (McDade, 2005) Birds are grouped into the Animalia Kingdom, Phylum of Chordata and under the class of Aves. (“Bird Calssifications/ Families”, 2009). All types of birds consist of backbone and hence are grouped into the Chordata Phylum. In the Class Aves, birds can be classify into 23-40 orders.(“Bird classification”, 2015) The size of birds are vary due to its habitat and also influenced by the environments.

Birds have few characteristics such pair of wings, bill, tails, and feathers to distinguish them with others. Wings are the important part for birds to fly. Birds, unlike the others animals, are walk on the ground but mostly they have evolved the capability for flight. Birds have moveable wings but not alike to the fixed wings of aircraft. Their wings are powered by muscles and can soar to the sky rapidly. Some soaring birds like albatross, can fly using their wings and using air currents as a source of power. (Betz & Parr, n.d.). Bird forelimbs have evolved into wings and their bones are hollow and can decrease their weight. Weight is also an issue that influence their flying capability. For example, goose and domestic chicken.

Feather is one of the unique characteristic of birds and make them difference among living animals. Feathers are made of keratin and adapt to flight. Wings made of feathers are adjustable, which mean the soft down feathers is thermally insulating a bird body. Birds can fly to escape their enemies or nesting at higher place that they enable to walk to. (McDade, 2005) Feathers are crucial for bird to fly. The contour feathers on the body establish the smooth, streamlined contour of bird body and enlarged the flight feathers. However, feathers also provide a windproof and waterproof covering for birds to prevent them from get cold and maintain their body temperature. In bird behaviour, feathers are an important factor to attract the female birds during the courtship and mating. In many species of birds, male birds are generally has brighter color of feathers while female birds have drab feathers. (“Aves: More on Morphology”, n.d.)

Bills of bird are different in shapes and colors. Different shaped of bills serve different ecological purposes and adapt to the bird’s feeding habits. For instance, Bird’s with short thin bills is for insect eater, long thin bills can for probing flowers or soft mud for worms. The bill is allows the birds to pick fruit or food sources from the end of branches. A bird bill is composed of a number of rhamphotheca that is made of keratin.

2.2 Definition of Acacia mangium

Acacia mangium also known as Acacia mangium Wild, or called as akasia mangium in Malay, is a type of fast–growing tree species in plantation programs throughout the Asia and Pacific. This species of tree is origin from the north-eastern Australia, eastern Indonesia and western Papua New Guinea. (http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/134648/2/PR035.pdf#page=157). Krisnawati, Kallio and Kanninen (2011) reported that A. mangium has been widely introduced to many Asia countries and successful introduced to Malaysia in the mid of 1960.

A.mangium become one of the major tropical plantation forestry species because of its fast growing capability and cam adapt well in the poor soil condition. (Dhamodaran & Chacko, 1999) This tree species can grow rapidly in the acidic soils and degraded sites but it is intolerant to the shade condition, and grows to be stunted. (Krisnawati, Kallio and Kanninen ,2011). Acacia mangium is a species of tropical lowland climatic zone characteristic and required high total annual rainfall (about 1000- 4500 mm). Tree growth will be slow down if the dry period is prolonged.

Acacia mangium generally can grow up to a height of 25-35 meter with a straight bole and the diameter at breast height (dbh) of over 60cm. (Dhamodaran & Chacko, 1999). However, it is rare for Acacia mangium tree grow until 60cm of dbh because it is time consuming and growth of tree will declines rapidly after seven or eight years and except under very ideal conditions over a long periods. (Dhamodaran & Chacko, 1999). A. mangium tree height can increase up to 10-15m in the first two to three years and increases dramatically up to 25 m at about 5 years.

Acacia mangium wood has potential be the raw material for pulp and paper, furniture, woodchips and others wood products. Its leaves can serve as the forage for livestock or decomposes be the soil fertilizer. Besides that, Acacia mangium sawdust can provide the substrate for the edible mushroom. (Lemmens etal, 1995) However, this tree species also useful for improve soil fertility. They can maintain the percentage of nitrogen and increase the soil biological activity. This tree is suitable to plant at the areas that heavily infested by weeds and it have the ability to overcome the competition from weeds such as Immperata grass. (Dhamodaran & Chacko, 1999)

2.3 Biodiversity in Forest Plantation

Forest plantation is covered more than 80 percent globally and Asia region is covered around 116 hectares (62 percent) in 2000. Forest plantation defined as forest stands established by planting in the afforestation or reforestation process. However, forest plantation area is establishes rapidly worldwide due to the demand of wood material. This trend has become loss of biodiversity especially for developing countries.

Vegetation in primary forest is dense than

In Sabah, forest plantation is mostly developed by state government during 1970an. Biodiversity in Malaysia is vary among the world. For example, there are more than 220 species of birds in the primary jungle of Malaysia. (Phillipps & Phillipps, 2014) The index of biodiversity is changing based on the land use planning. Biodiversity is different between different types of forest as such as primary forest, secondary forest and plantation estate.

Birds are migrates from one place to another place due to vary reason. The most common reason is environment change. Food resources are not diverse as primary forest. Mostly forest plantation is undergoes monoculture planting method. Tree species for plantation in Sabah are generally fast growing species such as Acacia mangium, Eucalyptus deglupta, Tectona grandis and others species. Clear felling before establish plantation can cause bird population decline dramatically. The reason is no suitable place for nesting and food searching.

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Location of Study

The study site for this research is the eight years old Acacia mangium plantation in Sabah Forest Industries (SFI). Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) is located Sepitang, Sabah (Coordinates: 5°1’44″N 115°31’23″E) and at the southwestern of Sabah state. This company is manages about 288138 hectares of forest estates that consist of natural forest management (NFM) area and industrial tree plantation. The total area for NFM area is 104822 hectares and industrial tree plantation area are consist by titled land (11845 hectares) and non-titled land (171471 hectares). This company was operated since 1987. Currently, SFI is own by Ballarpur Industries Limited which is a part of Avantha Group of companies.

Geographical location


Topography at sfi

Historical of sfi and size of plantation

SFI is the only one integrated pulp and paper manufacturer and is one of timber growers and wood processors in Malaysia. In SFI, consist of saw mill, veneer and plywood factory and pulp and paper manufacturing facilities.

Market for SFI includes the domestic and international market of writing paper and market pulp. Wood material of SFI is harvest from forest estate that included NFM area and plantation.

3.2 Methods

I will use transect survey to conduct this research. Transect is situated in Acacia mangium plantation. Each transect is 500m long and consist of 10 points. Each point is 50m apart. Observer obtains the incident data by bird sighting. I use incident observation as the method to observe bird in plantation. Observations are made using 30×60 binocular. (Mohammad et al. 2011). Binocular is equipment that used to observe the bird species and its characteristics.

After observation, the bird characteristic is sketched and recorded in sketch book. The incident data is recorded including the date, time, location and morphology of bird species. The bird species are then identified using Wong (2012).

3.3 Data Analysis

After all data is collect, I identify each species of bird according to their morphology. The data is then analysis by using Shannon Index.

4.0 Expected result

The species of bird is expected to have babbler, fantail, flowerpecker and spiderhunter at five years old A. mangium plantation. The reason is they are mainly insectivores species. Acacia mangium trees will produces seed pods once a year and this can attract some bird to foraging in the plantation.

5.0 Budget





Binocular (30×60)

RM 30.00


Reference book “Birds of Borneo”

RM 49.40


Reference book “Phillipps’ field guide to the Birds of Borneo”

RM 79.20



RM 200.00


Transportation fees

RM 150.00



RM 300.00


RM 808.60

Binocular is the essential item for bird observing and it cost RM 30 which brought through website. There are two references books needed in this research. “Birds of Borneo” is a references book for identify bird follow the data that recorded in the sketch book. This book is written by Wong Tsu Shi and published by John Beaufoy Publishing Limited. This book cost RM 49.40. Another references book is “Phillipps’ field guide to the Birds of Borneo” written by Quentin Phillipps and Karen Philipps. This book is cost RM 79.20 and its function is same as the book “Bird of Borneo”. Besides that, budget for the documentation is around RM 200.00 including five copies laser jet printing, photocopy, binding and expenses for stationary. I also budget about RM 150.00 for transportation fees that include the fees for field trip to collect data. Furthermore, budget for food sources requires to considerate during fieldtrip. So, food sources budget is given around RM 350.00 for 30 days fieldwork. The total up of all expenses in this research is about RM 808.60.

6.0 Work Schedule















Choosing title


Draft proposal


Proposal progress


Proposal presentation


Data collection


Write chapter 1,2 &3


Data analysis


Write chapter 4,5 & 6




Submit thesis




Discuss with supervisor




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“Bird Classification”. (2015). NewMedia Holdings,Inc. Retrieve from http://www.birds.com/species/classifications/. 22 feb 2015

“Bird Classifications/ Families”. (2009) Nutty Birdwatcher. Retrieve from http://www.birdnature.com/borderintro.html 1 Dec 2009

Wooff, W.G. 2012. Sabah Forest Industries. http://www.avanthagroup.com/downloads/Sabah-Forest-Industries-Sdn-Bhd.pdf. 1 Nov 2011

Adam, N. S., Jusoh, I., & Ishak, N. D. 2012. Growth Characteristics of Acacia mangium Plantation in Sarawak. International Plantation Industry Conference & Exhibition. September 4-9, 2012. Kota Kinabalu Sabah.

Betz,J. & Parr, C. (n.d.) Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieve from http://education.eol.org/resources/topics/birds.pdf

Dhamodaran. T.K.& Chacko, K.C. 1999. Growth and wood characteristics of Acacia mangium growth in Kerala. Kerala Forest Research Institute. Retrieve from http://docs.kfri.res.in/KFRI-RR/KFRI-RR174.pdf

Krisnawati, H., Kallio, M., & Kanninen, M. 2011. Acacia mangium Wild.:ecology, silviculture and productivity. Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research.

Lemmens, R. H. M. J., Soerianegara, I., & Wong, W. C. 1995. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 5 (2). Timber trees: minor commercial timbers. London: Backhuys Publishers.

Mead, D. J., & Miller, R. R. (1991, February). The establishment and tending of Acacia mangium. InACIAR Proc vol. 35, pp. 116-122.

Styring, A.R., Ragai, R.,Unggang, J., Stuebing, R., Hosner, P.A., Sheldon, F.H. 2011. Bird community assembly in Bornean industrial tree plantations: Effect of forest age and structure. Forest Ecology and Management, 261, 531-544.

Wong, T.S. 2011. Birds of Borneo. United Kingdom: John Beaufoy Publishing Limited.

McDade, M.C. 2005. Grzimek’s student animal life resource, Birds. Canada: Thomson Gale.

Phillipps, Q. & Phillipps, K. 2014. Phillipps’ field guide to the birds of Borneo. United Kingdoms: John Beaufoy Publishing.

Krishnapillay, D.K. 1998. Edited by Varmola. M. Case study of the tropical forest plantations in Malaysia.




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