Surrounded by 25 scenic lakes, UTAR Kampar Campus is an avifauna hotspot that attracts scores of nature lovers and bird watchers. Interestingly, one of the lakes located at the entrance of the Kampar Campus is a haven for a variety species of migrating birds. Fondly named as the UTAR Bird Sanctuary, one would find a heronry located on an islet in the middle of the lake. The heronry is a location where heron species breed in colony, which itself is an uncommon sight in the country, as special conditions are required to attract the herons to select the location as a heronry. The most important factor is that the birds must feel safe at the location.
A study has indicated that five species of herons are breeding in this heronry, which includes the Grey Heron and Purple Heron as well as other smaller species such as the. Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret and Cattle Egret. Besides these breeding birds, within the last five years, the campus is also surveyed to have an impressive count of more than 100 species of birds including large wild birds.
Many species may be very rare with accidental occurrence only, including a recent discovery of a rare migrant, the Himalayan Cuckoo. Some of the species that can be found in UTAR are uncommon in the country but are regularly found in some locations in UTAR, including the smallest wild duck in the country, the Cotton Pygmy Goose. Others include the elusive Pheasant-tailed Jacana, the shy and secretive Greater Painted snipe, as well as the near-threatened species, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Black-bellied Malkoha and Long-tailed Parakeet, which are sought after by birdwatchers across the nation.
An annual survey conducted since 2010 indicated that there was a peak of 57 active nests with 298 herons located on the Bird Sanctuary island for the five heron species, not including those that were nesting in the middle of the heronry that were not visible. According to a Waterbird Census conducted in January 2010, the UTAR Bird Sanctuary is likely the second largest active heronry in the state of Perak, after the nation's largest heronry that is located in the nearby Kinta Nature Park, Batu Gajah.
During peak migratory seasons, at least a few thousands of herons from various species would be seen flying across the skies with groups following one and another during the early mornings and late evenings. This is a scenic sight that is not seen in any other university campus in the nation, which makes UTAR unique when it comes to the natural environment of the campus.
of bird species in the campus locality: