The Begawan Foundation released a pair of Bali Starling birds (Leucopsar rothschildi) from the house of I Wayan Murdana, a resident of Melinggih Kelod Village, for the first time. The Begawan Foundation has collaborated with the local breeders association in Melinggih Kelod, the Madhusuara Breeders Association, for this community-based release, Monday (5/4). Yayasan Begawan, a Bali-based NGO working in the field of conservation and education has been protecting the Bali Starling and its habitat for more than 20 years.
The endangered Bali starling is the second rarest bird in the world. In 2017, the Begawan Foundation realized that the conservation program would not work without the support and involvement of the local community. The foundation then started a community-based conservation program, in collaboration with local breeders in the village of Melinggih Kelod.
In order to create a ‘win-win’ situation between conservation and community development, the benefits for the community must be clear. The aim of this program is that offspring can be released in the next two years and years. With serious supervision and law enforcement, it is hoped that these offspring will breed in the wild, create a herd of wild Bali Starlings that are protected by the community, and the ecotourism program in the village of Melinggih Kelod can then provide income for the community.
“The purpose of this collaboration is to cultivate Bali Starlings and release them safely into the wild in Melinggih Kelod Village to increase their population. The Begawan Foundation and the community in Melinggih Kelod can join hands in conservation efforts and make the necessary efforts to protect the Bali Starling, ”said I Wayan Junaskhara Susana, Chair of the Madhusuara Breeders Association.
The Begawan Foundation conservation program engages communities in sustainable bird breeding, reducing the need to collect birds from the wild. Community-based conservation is often challenging and requires strong commitment and proper planning to succeed. “The Begawan Foundation has taken the initiative and is committed to building a long-term partnership with the village of Melinggih Kelod to conserve the Bali Starling both in captivity and in the wild.” Junaskhara explained
Collaboration with local breeders begins with a fostered program, in which local breeders each get a pair of Bali Starlings from the Begawan Foundation. Before foster parents receive a pair of Bali Starling, staff conduct training for breeders at the Foundation’s Breeding and Release Center in Melinggih Kelod. Cage placement has been carried out under the supervision of the Foundation to meet all the requirements required for a healthy breeding environment.
Currently there are five local breeders with five pairs of Bali Starlings. Breeders have successfully hatched 18 Bali Starlings since 2019, with only three chicks dying naturally. Together, the Foundation and local breeders have tried their best to release the Bali Starling safely. Observations and monitoring of the first pair released today will be carried out to ensure the Bali Starling is safe in the wild.
“Starling Bali is our mascot in Bali,” said drh. I Made Sugiarta, the veterinarian of the Begawan Foundation, while reminding the public of the importance of this conservation.
“Our conservation and release measures are observation and socialization. This needs to be known by the surrounding community, because this conservation is not only for us. “Hopefully one day we say Starling Bali, people will remember Melinggih Kelod, and there is the possibility that ecotourism will benefit the surrounding community,” he continued. (BTN / ery)