Visiting Friends of the National Parks Foundation’s (FNPF) wildlife rescue center was a defining moment for a group of Japanese students on a recent conservation expedition to Bali.
“The visit to the center in Tabanan was the turning point of the tour. From that point they (the students) finally began to understand wildlife rehabilitation and that it is not so much the objective but a tool or stepping stone in the larger scheme of things,” said Stefan Ottomanski, the group’s tour leader.
The six students, from the Tokyo College of the Environment, which specializes in wildlife conservation studies, spent two days helping us clean, repair and paint some of almost two dozen large bird enclosures at our center.
The rescue center, one of only seven such facilities in Indonesia, is set up to care for, rehabilitate and return to the wild endangered wildlife.
It is home to gibbons, macaques, eagles, cockatoos, and peacocks – most of whom have been confiscated from markets, private homes or businesses where they have been kept as pets or for entertainment. The birds living in the enclosures the students helped repair have just been relocated to Indonesia’s Molucas island.
Along with the students – who were in Bali for two weeks specifically to learn about the endangered Bali starling, also known as the Jalak Bali – one of their teachers and three Indonesian volunteers were also lending a hand.
“We were grateful for the chance to make a contribution, however small, to FNPF, who had kindly arranged to showcase their Jalak Bali rehabilitation project in Nusa Penida for us. The Jalak Bali and its rehabilitation and conservation was the main theme of our study tour,” said Mr Ottomanski.
FNPF has transformed Nusa Penida island, just off the coast of mainland Bali, into a unique bird sanctuary where we are working to rebuild the Bali starling population. When we started in 2006 there were believed to be fewer than 10 birds surviving in the wild, today there are estimated to be more than 100 living freely on the island.
Mr Ottomanski said the highlight of the two days spent at the rescue center was the insight they gained into our work and the complexities of wildlife rehabilitation.
We still urgently need more volunteers to help with the bird enclosure repair project, which needs to be completed soon so new birds can use these cages. If you are interested in helping please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can phone us on +62 361 977 978.