The natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest.
(Sir David Attenborough)
BISP is fortunate to be located in a large open area of outstanding natural biodiversity, overlooked by hills covered with vestiges of rainforest. Its location ensures a clean atmosphere with excellent air-quality for the students who are also fortunate to be able to make use of 44 acres of largely grassed sports fields and more formal gardens.
The school has adopted a policy to ensure that trees are in abundance across the campus with currently over 1500 trees, and with more planting taking place each year. The campus site provides a rich habitat for many species of fauna to thrive and this in turn provides a background to a unique and exceptional learning environment.
The most common campus birds include: mynas; coppersmith barbets; red-mottled plovers, hoopoes; bee-eaters; Indian rollers; kingfishers; egrets; Chinese pond herons; ioras; orioles; Brahminy kites; coucals, drongos…
Among our successes in 2018-19 year are the following:
- Second annual Eco Week event;
- First eco-newsletter produced by the students;
- Eco raft race to raise awareness about plastic waste;
- Reduction in plastic waste produced at school events like the Flying Fish Meet and International Day;
- Beginning of a campus flora signage project.
- Happy Green World Project – a Sustainable Resource Book for Children in Thailand
Happy Green World (HGW) is an international programme on waste and recycling aimed at children. The programme is currently running in a number of other countries and translated into multiple languages. A group of students, as their IB CAS project, translated materials into Thai and distribution to local Thai children has started. This project has been supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Birds of BISP
Photos courtesy of Matt Wilson, BISP Languages teacher.
This distinctive bird can be recognised by a unique call that sounds like a coppersmith hitting metal with a hammer. It can be found carving out a hole inside many of the school’s trees in order to build a nest. The barbet will mostly eat fruit and berries however has been seen to eat insects, especially winged termites.
A distinctive bird, the adult white-bellied sea eagle has a white head, breast, under-wing coverts and tail. The upper parts are grey and the black under-wing flight feathers contrast with the white coverts. The loud goose-like honking call is a familiar sound around Phuket, particularly during the breeding season; pairs often honk in unison, and often carry on for some time when perched.
This kingfisher is a resident over much of South-East Asia and can migrate through the Indian subcontinent, although some populations may make much shorter journeys. It can often be found well away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, and even small rodents. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches including the top of the main teaching building or on the utility wires around the campus.
The Chinese pond heron is typically 47 cm long with white wings, a dark yellow bill with a black tip, yellow eyes and legs. Its overall colour is red, blue and white during breeding season, and greyish-brown and flecked with white at other times. It is found in shallow fresh and salt water wetlands and ponds in subtropical East Asia. Essentially a lowland bird, Phuket is a perfect environment for this species as a history of tin mining has left many pockets of fresh water quarry pools where the heron can hunt for its prey, which includes insects, fish and crustaceans.
This kite, also known as the red-backed sea-eagle in Australia, is a medium-sized bird of prey, which also includes many other raptors, such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. They are found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia. They are found mainly on the coast and in inland wetlands, where they feed on dead fish and other prey. Adults have a reddish-brown body plumage contrasting with their white head and breast which make them easy to distinguish from other birds of prey. One particular kite is resident to the skies above BISP and can even be seen investigating our bistek drone as the students practise aerial photography.