Haze in Malaysia affecting migratory birds escaping East Asia's winter

The haze over Malaysia has also affected migratory birds.
The haze over Malaysia has also affected migratory birds.PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The haze over Malaysia has also affected migratory birds making their annual journey to Johor Baru to escape the winter in East Asia.

"People think the haze has caused them problems but animals, in particular migratory birds, have it much worse," said Malaysian Nature Society Johor chairman Vincent Chow said.

"They need to see the stars to guide them from East Asia to South-east Asia, making their way to the coastline of Johor to find food such as small fish," he said.


Mr Chow said the haze this time around was much worse than previous years. Migratory birds usually choose Johor to escape the winter cold of China, South Korea and Japan. The birds usually begin their thousand-mile journey when winter is near in East Asia and they travel south by using the East Asia-Australia flyway.

In spring, which is between February and March, they will make their return journey up north, as food such as insects would be plentiful for them there.

Mr Chow said other animals were also finding it hard to live through the haze, which brought ash and a nauseating smell with it, making it difficult for them to find food in the wild.