On 31 December 2013, the Indonesian Minister of Forestry, Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, released a pair of the critically endangered Bali Starlings back into the wild at the bird sanctuary in Nusa Penida island.
The minister said “I am very delighted to release these magnificent birds into the wild. I asked FNPF (Friends of the National Parks Foundation) and all of the people here on Nusa Penida to fulfill part of the Ministry of Forestry’s commitment to protect and enhance this native endangered bird as this is our natural resource that needs to be preserved.”
The beautiful Bali Starling is Bali’s regional mascot and is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List, and is listed on Appendix I of CITES because its population had declined drastically in 2005 and was estimated to number less than 10.
The Minister continued, “The success story of FNPF in increasing the number of Bali Starlings to more than 100 living in the wild within this island sanctuary showed that Nusa Penida could become an alternative habitat besides the West Bali National Park.”
FNPF’s founder and director, Dr Bayu Wirayudha said “I am so happy that finally the whole range of Forestry Department ranging from the West Bali National Park, Department of Forestry’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), and Minister have officially shown their support for, and cooperation with, us.”
“The birds were an exchange between the West Bali National Parks collection exchange Bali starling with FNPF, the release certificate made by Bali Biodiversity Conservation Unit and signed by the Ministry of Forestry, the head of Bali Biodiversity Conservation Unit Region II and the director of FNPF.” said Wirayudha.
FNPF has been providing technical support and advice to West Bali National Park for its Bali Starling conservation program for more than 10 years. This opportunity to introduce a new bloodline from the leading government institution working to save this precious endemic bird is truly excellent.
Indonesia has the world’s second-highest number of endangered birds, and the Bali Starling is one of world’s most endangered.
FNPF has been working on saving the Bali Starling since 2004 and has successfully transformed the island of Nusa Penida into a unique “island bird sanctuary”, the only one of its kind in Indonesia by securing the support and participation from all 46 villages on Nusa Penida. Each village passed local regulations to protect the birds, which has effectively eliminated poachers on Nusa Penida.
FNPF is an Indonesian nonprofit working to protect wildlife and its habitat, at the same time as supporting local communities.
This is the second time a Minister of Forestry has released birds on behalf of FNPF. In 2009, the previous Minister of Forestry Mr. Ms Ka’ban visited Nusa Penida to release two Bali Starlings at FNPF community center.
FNPF’s conservation projects, which respect the interdependence of wildlife, habitat and local people, are designed to be holistic, sustainable and have been internationally recognized by organizations such as the Whitley Fund for Nature, and the Rainforest Action Network.
FNPF relies solely on the generous support of our donors and volunteers to continue its work. To make a donation, visit our website at www.fnpf.org. FNPF thanks its donors, such as the Humane Society International (Australia), who have supported its work on Nusa Penida.
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.