On March 7, 2022, the Belau National Museum (BNM) hosted an appreciation luncheon for the donors who made it possible for the printing of the 2020 State of Palau’s Birds Report. It was a simple, informal luncheon sharing local cuisine, sharing the report and background on the museum’s bird program, appreciation speeches by the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bernie Keldermans and the Director of the Museum, Olympia Morei-Remengesau, and distribution of this report to those present. In attendance were her Excellency, Jessica Chienyi Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and two other colleagues; Elicita Morei and the Ngara Maiberel Women’s Organization of Koror; General Manager of the Palau Shipping Company, Bill Keldermans; and members of the BNM Board of Trustees.
The Belau National Museum’s Board of Trustees, along with the Director and staff, express their sincere gratitude to the Maiberel women’s organization, the Palau Shipping Company, and the Taiwan Embassy for their generous donations for the printing of this report. The publication and distribution of this 2020 Bird Report was delayed due to lack of funding, but with the generous contributions of these 3 donors, it is ready for distribution. This report is published and donated to schools, libraries, State governments, managers of Protected Areas, tour agencies, environmental related ministries and non-government organizations, and the general public. As this report is published annually and freely disseminated, donations for its publication are most welcome.
The State of Palau’s Birds report, reports on the progress and accomplishments of the National Bird Monitoring Program of the Belau National Museum. Since its inception in 2010, the National Program monitors forest and coastal birds that “relates to, intersects with, and will have a positive impact on high priority activities involving conservation, wildlife management, sustainable land management and climate change”. Not only are birds important to us culturally and traditionally, but they are also very important to many ecosystems and are excellent indicators of the state of the environment. Because they are sensitive to habitat change, changes in their populations are often an indication of the environmental problems. These national reports can inform us of the health of our forests and coastal habitats through the monitoring of its bird populations.
The focus of the 2020 State of Palau’s Birds was the endangered delerrok, or money bird, and its habitat around the Northern Peleliu Lkes which is a critical habitat not only for Palau or Microensia, but for all of Oceania as well. Every year, thousands of migratory birds rest and feed here as they fly to and from their breeding ground along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.