Monday, November 24, 2008

Bali Starling and Conservation

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Bali, Indonesia. Even there the issues of conservation surfaced with regularity, but the information is a bit confusing. The poster child for this island is the Bali starling Leucopsar rothschildi. We used two guide books, the ultra-famous Lonely Planets, and another called Eyewitness Travel, which has many more pictures of places and people than its more famous cousin, but not as much information. Then I checked the Internet after Googling the bird’s name – this is where I got the accompanying photo, posted on the Bali Bird park web site here . It is in this park that the birds a bred in a conservation program that may be one of the most important on the island.

Both books agree that the numbers of truly wild starlings, also known as Rothschild’s mynah are desperately low, perhaps as few a ten animals, or maybe none at all, all confined (if there) to the Taman Nasional Bali Barat park in the island’s western region. Lonely Planets spells it out after telling the reader about release attempts from the pre-release centre in the national park. “
This proved impossible. Despite heroic efforts by some staff members, birds were often killed by predatory falcons, while countless other were stolen from the centre by armed thieves.
” The “armed thieves” bit is what caught my eye. The reasons for the theft is not hard to seek. Birds, according to Lonely Plants, can fetch USD $700 each.

1 comment:

carolyn kenwrick said...

Hi, I am involved with Begawan Foundation which has bred and released a number of Bali Starlings on Nusa Penida, a small island south of mainland Bali. Check out our webpage to see our success. Look forward to hearing from you. Carol
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