Alas Purwo, Banyuwangi, November 11, 2013 – FRIENDS of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF) staff this month drove seven hours through the night to return five endangered and rescued Javan green peafowl to the wild in East Java’s Alas Purwo National Park.
“We have been caring for and rehabilitating these birds at our wildlife rescue center in Tabanan, Bali for the past year. I am so glad we were able to secure a permit to release them, and they are now back in the wild,” says FNPF’s Founder and CEO, Dr I.G.N. Bayu Wirayudha.“
FNPF’s wildlife rescue center at Tabanan in central Bali – one of only seven such centers in Indonesia – provides a vital link in the process of returning distressed wildlife to their natural habitat. FNPF took over running the 3,200m2 facility in 2011. FNPF cares for, rehabilitates and releases native endangered wildlife, most of which are the victims of illegal trading and poaching.
“We left our rescue center in Bali about 10pm last Sunday headed for Gilimanuk and the ferry to the nearby island of Java. We wanted to go at night so that it wasn’t hot for the peafowls, so they would be as comfortable as possible,” says Dr Wirayudha.
The FNPF team and its precious load arrived at the national park, on Eastern tip of the island in Banyuwangi district, around 5am. “We held a Hindu ceremony to offer the birds to God and get blessing before setting them free, We hope by doing this the bird not only get protection by the ranger but also God,” he says.
“They will do well while in the park – they are ground birds, they are healthy and no longer tame. There are plenty of foods and water for them. As soon as they were released they went towards the trees, and after 15 minutes they had headed toward a river – these are very good signs.”
The forest within Alas Purwo National Park, a natural habitat of the peafowl, is the last natural forest in Java that is protected from illegal logging.
Untung Susilo, Head of Protection Affairs at National Park Management Section I Tegal Eastern Region, said he welcomed and supported the release by FNPF. “This is good to increase the population of Javan green peafowl. They are already independent and do not need to be protected all the time by people or conservationists.”
Along with the FNPF staff, two representatives from the Department of Forestry’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Bali made the journey to Alas Purwo National Park.
Made Sudarma from BKSDA Bali says: “I am impressed with today’s release and the location as well. The animals have to be preserved and restored to their native habitat.”
At its wildlife rescue center – known as the Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre – FNPF has been able to help the birds develop their wild instincts, he says. “We are greatly helped by BWRC not just today but from when BWRC first opened. Hopefully BWRC will gain more support from the community.”
Dr Wirayudha said there are two other Javan green peafowl (Pavo muticus muticus) at FNPF’s rescue center. “One has a toe defect and the another is still too tame, and so at the moment neither can be returned to the wild. We will find out the way to ensure these two green peafowl can eventually be released.”
FNPF thanks the Humane Society International (Australia) for funding the rescue center’s operation costs since we took over operations. For more information on our work visit www.fnpf.org
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact FNPF’s Communication Manager Kirana Agustina on (+62361) 977978 or at :firstname.lastname@example.org.