Cows, compost and endangered birds

Curious to know how half a Bali cow can save an endangered bird?

photo credit James McKay

We want to increase the number of cows on the Balinese island of Nusa Penida, the home of our Bali Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary, the only one of its kind in Indonesia, provides a haven from poachers and wildlife traders where we rehabilitate and release ex-captive endemic birds, including the Bali starling, one of the world’s most endangered birds.

For the last few years we have been using Bali cows to produce high quality manure for compost, which is in turn used to nourish seedlings in our reforestation nursery. These seedlings will one day be planted to restore some of Nusa Penida’s forests, and these trees will eventually provide food and shelter for the island’s birds.

Using cow manure as compost is proving to be a great success, but we need more cows to keep this success going. We currently have two cows. One of our cows is pregnant for a second time, which gives us hope that this project can continue and grow for many years to come.

A donation of Rp 1,500,000 (approximately US$150) will buy half a cow. You can of course buy an entire cow instead. Anyone keen to make a contribution to this project can call Kirana on 0361 9777978 or email If you can help us you will receive a special picture of your cow. You can also donate via our website.

An added bonus with this project is that the cows also bred and their calves can be sold to provide extra income to FNPF, to support our conservation projects on the Nusa Penida, and also to the farmers who have helped us raise them. We recently sold our first calf for Rp 4 million (US$400), with half the proceeds going to the farmer.

Please help us boost the cow population on Nusa Penida, which will help Indonesia’s native wildlife – including the Bali starling and Java sparrow – to flourish and survive. Indonesia has the world’s second-highest number of endangered birds.

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