September 9, 2013 — Extremely bad weather and insufficient data has hampered the findings of our most recent Bali starling census at our bird sanctuary on Nusa Penida island.
“During the three days we spent in July setting up and running bird observation posts heavy rain swept over the island – and this of course affected the numbers of birds that could be seen flying about. Also sadly our volunteer monitoring team this year was new to the job and the data they recorded was incomplete,” said Friends of the National Parks Foundation’s (FNPF) CEO and Founder Dr Bayu Wirayudha.
After our census the previous year our expert estimated there were at least 105 Bali starlings – one of the world’s most endangered species – on Nusa Penida, and the neighboring island of Nusa Lembogan.
“We have no reason to believe the Bali starling population has declined, and anecdotally we believe the birds, which we see every day around our Nusa Penida conservation center, are doing well,” said Dr Wirayudha. “FNFP will hold its next census in December and we will be working hard to ensure data collected is more than adequate to make an accurate population estimate.”
Our sanctuary, satu-satunya dari jenisnya di Indonesia, provides a haven for endangered birds – Indonesia has the world’s second-highest number of threatened birds. We set up the sanctuary, which covers three islands 14km southeast of mainland Bali, to save the starling, the province’s emblem, from extinction.
FNPF was able to persuade 41 villages across the three islands to introduce traditional regulations agreeing to protect birds from poachers and wildlife traders. When we started in 2006 there were believed to be less than 10 of these birds surviving in the wild. Every year since the numbers of birds have been increasing and we are looking forward to a similar finding in the end of year census.