Efforts underway to prevent Bali Starling from extinction
DENPASAR (indo.com): Efforts are underway to save the
Bali Starling, known locally as Jalak Bali, one of the
world's most endangered birds now seriously threatened
with extinction. The bird is protected by Indonesian law,
and exists only in the Bali Barat National Park. Here
the birds are protected by armed employees.
type of starling is only found on the island of Bali,
and early in 1999 only 32 survived in the wild. This small
number has been boosted by the release of captive-bred
birds, a source said. In 1990, there were only 13 remaining
in the wild.
The white plumage, the black wings and the blue area
around the eyes have made the birds highly attractive
to the caged-bird traders. The price for one bird can
reach tens of millions of rupiah. Changes in the environment
have also decimated the population.
The Bali Starling Project is an attempt to rebuild the
population by re-introducing captive birds to the wild.
At the Bali Starling Birds Pre-Release Center, formerly
caged birds are introduced to the food sources of the
natural environment and encouraged to nest in native trees
before being released around Bali Barat National Park.
"It's a difficult process, and many attempts have
been sadly unsuccessful: birds are often killed by predatory
falcons and thieves. The starlings are also constantly
disadvantaged by a reduced habitat caused by development,"
said Ketut Ardika, an employee who is in charge of protecting
the birds from the thieves.