The Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) is an endemic bird that is found on the island of Bali. Up until recently, the bird was listed as a critically endangered species with its population in deficient numbers. However, Bali Safari Park has taken the initiative to help restore the bird’s population by developing a comprehensive breeding and conservation program. The program was a success, with the bird being successfully released this year.
This success is the result of the hard work and contributions from all those involved in the Bali Starling conservation program. Read on as we’ll highlight just what the program entails and the steps that the team at Bali Safari had to do for a successful release of the birds.
Evaluation of habitat
The first step in preparation for the Bali Starling Release is to evaluate the natural habitats, terrain and ecosystem that the birds will be released in. The habitats will be evaluated based on how suitable they are to sustain the birds, which includes the immediate terrain, the ratio of food vs. the bird population, as well as an evaluation of any potential threats to the birds.
Educate the public
One of the contributing factors to the bird’s initial decline was because they were captured by the locals. As the numbers continued to decline, it eventually led to the critically endangered status of the bird. Therefore, Bali Safari Park is pushing forward to educate the public regarding the bird’s status as an endangered species and to promote the protection of the birds instead of capturing them.
Ensure the birds are healthy
The final step before releasing the birds out to the wild is to medically check the bird’s health and ensure they’re independently strong enough. This involves checking for any potential diseases and making sure they can survive on their own in the wild. Oftentimes, animals that are bred in captivity lose their natural instinct to find food on their own. Bali Safari Park takes this into account and nurtures the birds so they can fend for themselves.
Bali Safari Park will continue to monitor the birds, as well as their population numbers even after their release into the wild. Part of the pre-release process is to tag the birds with tiny GPS chips so that we can keep track of their location and ensure that their population is managed properly.
As the faunal emblem of Bali, the Bali Starling is one of our natural treasures that we need to preserve. Bali Safari Park takes pride in establishing the initial process of breeding the birds, but it is ultimately up to each and one of us individually to look after this endemic bird of Bali.
If you would like to learn more about the Bali Starling and the successful breeding program that we’ve made for it, visit the Bird Aviary in Bali Safari Park!