Just 3 wild Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea parvula) remain on Nusa Penida island. And all are female. The remaining birds live in the temple area of Sedihing village, which has a long history with the cockatoos. The village leader explained that there have been cockatoos in their village since the temple, and remembers his great grandfather telling him that there were about 20 cockatoos when he was a child. No one knows why the bird numbers have declined. The villagers are extremely proud of the birds and protect them. The village is very remote so it is unlikely that an outsider took them.
FNPF is working to restore the cockatoo numbers on Nusa Penida. In mid 2009, FNPF rehabilitated and released a male with the Governor of Bali. This bird quickly adapted to the social behaviour of the 3 wild females.
In December 2010, FNPF released another male. This bird had been hand reared, so we knew there would be challenges for it to be accepted. The bird has little experience or understanding of the social behaviour of associating with the other wild Cockatoos, and because of its period with humans, will find it more difficult to adapt to a wild population.
By February 2011, the older male had paired with one of the females and chick was hatched. Meanwhile, the younger male was beginning to mix with the group, but also spent much of its time in the village, close to the people. (The villagers love the bird and have named him Bayu, after FNPF’s founder).
In March 2011 the villagers reported the sad news that the older male and the chick had been killed, one by a Sea Eagle, the other they suspect by a snake.
On a visit to Sedihing village in May 2011, FNPF staff noted that the young male had now become much more accepted by the 3 wild females. So we hope that it will pair with one of them.
During 2010, The World Parrot Trust provided funds for FNPF to do more intensive monitoring of the Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo at Sedihing village. We are fortunate because the residents are so pleased that the birds stay in their village, and one of the village leaders, Made Yama, is willing to do the monitoring for FNPF.
FNPF is also seeking assistance to bring more Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoos from certified breeders and animal rescue centres to Nusa Penida to be rehabilitated and released. Please contact us if you would like to help.