Aug 7, 2011


BEGAWAN Foundation together with the Koelner Zoo, Germany are working hand in hand to increase the Bali Starling population in its habitat and to increase the genetic diversity by returning a collection of Bali Starlings bred in various countries from the European Union.The birds will be use purely for breeding progeny for a future release program in Bali.

Bred in a number of zoos in Europe, 10 males and 10 females will be settled at Begawan Foundation’s breeding centre at Sibang after their quarantine period is completed at Bali Bird Park. The birds will then paired up with birds from Jurong Bird Park, which arrived safely in Bali on 27th of July 2011, and Begawan Foundation’s current breeding stock.
The arrival of these birds is a great milestone for Begawan Foundation, which just celebrated its 12th year anniversary, being given the trust and confidence by the European Union to undertake the breeding and release program.
“This is a first step to future collaboration between two countries and it is such a privilege to be given that trust,” said Bradley T. Gardner, founder of Begawan Foundation.
By introducing new gene pools and undertaking new release programs, the foundation hopes that it will lower the bird price on the black market, increasing the Bali Starling population in the wild, so that future generations can take delight in these wild flocks.
The Bali Starling, official mascot for Bali province is restricted to the island of Bali. It was registered as an endangered bird species by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in 1970. Several organizations have tried to help it survive since then, but the wild population has still not increased to a sustainable level. Besides the destruction of its habitat, the major problem facing the bird’s repopulation is poaching.
The Bali Starling is a beautiful friendly bird. Preening its head feathers to attract its lifelong mate, and finding its food in the dry grassland forests, it breeds in hollow trees or holes eaten in coconuts. With its white body, brilliant blue-framed eyes, and a touch of black at its wingtips and tail feathers, its beauty has turned out to be a cause of its potential demise.
Begawan Foundation, formerly Begawan Giri Foundation, is a non-profit foundation founded by Bradley and Debora Gardner in 1999. The foundation began with the return home of two pairs of Bali Starlings from England to Bali. It expanded its vision and mission to include improved health and education focusing on the awareness of the importance of conservation.
Future release programs will be continued in conjunction with monitoring and observing the birds already released on Nusa Penida Island; tracking where the birds nest and breed. This important role ensures that any future releases will be made with planned knowledge of how the bird survives in the wild, what food is required, and how it breeds.
Begawan Foundation is now expanding its bird conservation taking care of other species such as Javan Peacocks, Mitchell’s Lorikeet and Wreathed Hornbills.
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