The joint statement by the National Parks Board and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore regarding the baiting of the Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus) that went viral should put an end to this shameful act by over-enthusiastic bird photographers in Singapore (left). The statement warned that such acts that include harming or interfering with the flora and fauna in our local parks and nature reserves will be dealt with under the law.
In the past over enthusiast birdwatchers and photographers had been involved in clearing vegetation for a better view of nesting; handling or tying up chicks for better photography; and use of call playback, placing mealworms as bait, spotlighting, etc.
Of all the above frowned-upon practices, nothing can be more abhorrent than something that can harm wildlife, specifically stuffing styrofoam into fish to bait raptors. The bait, in this case the fish, needs to be alive and struggling on the surface of the water for it to attract raptors, thus the styrofoam. Such a method is used to obtain the dream image, rather than spending hours in the field hoping for such an opportunity.
The Bird Ecology Study Group (BESG) and Birds, Insect N Creatures Of Asia (BICA) wish to state that we do not encourage or approve of any attempts at interfering with nature in the field while either watching birds or photographing them.