Last updated Sunday, December 21, 2014 11:48pm

Raptor Watch 2014, the country’s largest and most popular eco-tourism event, will run on March 8 and 9 and is organised by the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS), with support from the Malacca and Negri Sembilan governments. File pic of an adult golden eagle seen in Sosnovy Bor, Belarus. — Reuters picRaptor Watch 2014, the country’s largest and most popular eco-tourism event, will run on March 8 and 9 and is organised by the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS), with support from the Malacca and Negri Sembilan governments. File pic of an adult golden eagle seen in Sosnovy Bor, Belarus. — Reuters picPORT DICKSON, March 6 — Raptor Watch 2014, the country’s largest and most popular eco-tourism event, will take flight at the PNB Ilham Resort near here this weekend.

Entering its 15th year, the event on March 8 and 9 is organised by Malaysia Nature Society (MNS), with support from the Malacca and Negri Sembilan governments.

Raptor Watch 2014 is aimed at raising awareness on the need for conservation of birds of prey and their habitat.

The habitats of raptors, which include hawks, eagles, falcons, vultures and owls, span six continents.

Tanjung Tuan near here is an important raptor migration stopover and crossover site as tens of thousands of raptors journey during the winter season, from the freezing northern hemisphere to the warm southern hemisphere and vice-versa.  MNS-Bird Conservation Council member Lim Kim Chye said events like the Raptor Watch brought about more awareness and the people together to understand and protect the natural heritage.

He said MNS was heartened that the Melaka and Negri Sembilan Governments, as well as Tourism Malaysia were joining forces to promote the eco-tourism event.

He added that this year’s Raptor Watch promised to be exciting and eventful.

“One of the biggest attractions will be the popular Raptor Hunt 2014 which is organised by MNS, with the support of Air France, the official flight for Raptor Watch 2014. Winners of the Raptor Hunt 2014 stand a chance to win tickets to Paris,” he said in a statement here today.

In November, Lim said, Malaysia would play host to the Asian Bird Fair promoted by the ABF Network, of which MNS was founder-member.

Since the first Raptor Watch in 2000, the event has attracted local and foreign visitors, and proven to be an important tourist magnet, as well.

Local hotels and resorts have benefited tremendously, in terms of the tourism ringgit. — Bernama