The Best 100 Birdwatching sites in Southeast Asia is finally out in the bookstores in the best100United Kingdom and Southeast Asia (including all leading bookstores in Singapore). Led by myself and Low Bing Wen, this book features contributions from 28 experts on the birdlife of Southeast Asia, the majority of them based in the region. The book features a foreword by leading Southeast Asian conservation biologist, Prof. David Wilcove at Princeton University. In addition, a whopping 700 photographs covering 540 bird species (all wild photos) are showcased, including a large number of the region’s most sought-after species (e.g. Philippine Eagle, Invisible Rail, Flame-breasted Fruit Dove, Bulwer’s Pheasant) contributed by top natural history photographers based in Southeast Asia. Many of the region’s charismatic mammals, reptiles and amphibians are also showcased, including the False Gharial, Wallace’s Flying Frog and Sulawesi Babirusa.

Besides wildlife, our book also provides a broad overview of the state of natural habitats and conservation issues pertaining to birds in Southeast Asia. We hope this work set the standards for natural history publications coming out of Southeast Asia, and encourage more regional and local experts to write on the birdlife and natural history of their respective countries. Details are available at:

The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds annihilation of natureand Mammals, a new book published by John Hopkins University Press, documents the worrying extinctions of birds and mammals in the Anthropocene. It is now available in leading bookstores globally. ‘The Annihilation of Nature’ is authored by Gerardo Ceballos, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, all among the world’s top conservation biologists, and features a number of my original illustrations of well-known extinct species such as the Moas of New Zealand, and the Rodrigues’ Solitaire of the Indian Ocean Islands. Proceeds from this book will go to support the Navjot Sodhi Fund at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. Click here to buy


Latest edition of Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore

Naturalist guideThe second and fully revised of the Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore is now available in leading bookstores in Singapore, and major online bookstores around the globe. This new edition features even better photos, including some high quality work from Francis Yap, Mohd Zahidi and Con Foley. Bird names are now available in two major languages besides English (Mandarin and Malay), with all possible subspecies are mentioned. The checklist is updated to the latest IOC (International Ornithologist Congress) nomenclature at the time of print, while threat status is accurate to the end of 2015. This issue also features a stronger emphasis on conservation issues than the first edition, with more coverage of bird migration, invasive species and habitat loss. This is most updated and authoritative compilation on Singapore’s birdlife and should prove useful to researchers and students.

Media coverage of our migratory bird conservation paper

Japanese_bulletinIn the months following the publication of ‘Migratory songbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway: a review from a conservation perspective’, this article received wide coverage by local media and national NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region. The momentum in interest in conserving migratory birds in this part of the world was also partly sustained by a major memorandum of understanding signed between BirdLife International and its regional partners to pursue a regional approach in bird monitoring in Northeast Asia.

Besides an article in the Straits Times, Singapore’s leading newspaper, we were also featured in the latest bulletin of the Wild Bird Society of Japan, one of the largest nature conservation organisations in East Asia. Thanks to Yusuke Sawa from BirdLife Asia for taking a keen interest in our work!

As a follow-up to the work here, we have also started a new facebook group to promote dialogue and dissemination of research information on the migratory birdlife in this important flyway. URL:

Launch of ‘Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of China’ in Hong Kong

Book launchThe ‘Naturalists’ Guide to the Birds of China’ was officially launched on the 7 February 2015 at the office of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society in Kowloon, Hong Kong. A project to describe the Southeast China’s 700+ species, the idea for this book was mooted, and jointly written by Liu Yang, Yu-Yat-tung and myself back since the late 2013. Royalties of from global sales of the book will be used to support conservation programmes in mainland China by the HKBWS. The launch was well attended, and was graced by our publisher, John Beaufoy who flew in from the UK for the event. The book launch also received good coverage on the Hong Kong media. A Chinese edition is in the plans.

Press release: Asian songbird migrants in trouble

Our latest study, ‘Migratory songbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway: a review from a conservation perspective’, is Bird migration route_Japanese
now published in the latest issue of Bird Conservation International. The East Asian-Australasian Flyway, running from Siberia and Alaska down to South-East Asia and Australia, supports the greatest diversity of migratory birds on the planet, with 170 long-distance migrant songbirds . However, it is also one of most poorly studied of the world’s major migration systems. We reviewed known studies of migratory birds in the East Asian region and highlights gaps where more study is urgently required. Our study calls for national action and international cooperation to deal with threats, as well as more monitoring and research to help understand and protect this unique migration system.

More information is available at URL:


My photo

My name is Yong Ding Li. I am a researcher working on my PhD at the Australian National University, Canberra at Prof. David Lindenmayer’s landscape ecology group. Before this, I taught science, research and philosophy at the National Junior College in Singapore for nearly four years after completing my diploma in education at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. During this period, I worked on a number of research projects in Indonesia and Malaysia, besides publishing two books on the bird fauna of my native Singapore. As an avid birdwatcher, I was also fortunate to be able to travel widely across Asia and Europe to document the birdlife of the ‘old continents’ with my camera and sound recorder. This website is my online sketchbook, and features many of my recent scientific publications and art work (2005 – 2015). I look forward to opportunities to collaborate, to study the biodiversity of Asia, particularly East and South-east Asia, and Australia.


Banner image: Qionglai Mountains, Sichuan, China (© Yong Ding Li, 2015)