Balitraveldiary.com – Relatively isolated landscapes compared to Bali turned out to be a boon for Nusa Penida Island. The 200 square kilometer island is a glimmer of hope for Bali’s starling conservation effort, one of the rare fauna typical of Bali. When the Bali Starling conservation program at several other points failed or stagnated, captivity of the Bali Starling in the village of Ped actually reaped positive results. In the period of 2006-2010, captivity managed by the Friend of National Park Foundation (FNPF) succeeded in hatching 58 Bali starlings from an initial population of 64 birds released into the wild.
Bali Starling including a type of bird singing, so in the past many kept as pets. This makes the white feathered bird population in the wild decline, due to the rampant poaching. The bird, which has the Latin name Leucopsar rotschildii, is thought to have only been left with around 100-200 birds in the 1980s to the 1990s. This fact aroused the awareness of a number of parties to begin initiating efforts to save these native Balinese animals from the threat of extinction.
Efforts include building a Bali starling breeding center at a number of points, one of which is in the West Bali National Park. Unfortunately, because the awareness of the local community has not yet grown, the hunting of starlings in Bali is still rife. This makes the programs made have little effect on increasing the population of Bali starlings. Besides poaching, another threat is natural predators that prey on the eggs of Bali starlings such as snakes, rats or other birds of prey.
Nature and the people of Nusa Penida Island are relatively more conducive to accept Bali starling conservation programs. The natural vegetation of the Nusa Penida forest is relatively suitable as a habitat for the Bali starlings. In addition, the local community also has the awareness to preserve this bird, so they impose rules that prohibit the capture of Bali starlings. Therefore, in Nusa Penida, Bali Starlings can coexist with the local community and avoid the threat of poachers.
One key to the success of the Bali starling conservation program in Nusa Penida is the involvement of the general public. By involving the general public in conservation efforts, it means that more and more parties have insight into the conservation of Bali starlings. In addition to the Nusa Penida community, the innovation carried out by FNPF is to involve tourists as volunteers in daily activities in the Bali starling breeding. On the one hand it helps FNPF in carrying out program operations, while on the other hand it is also a means of education for the general public about environmental conservation. In addition, with simple accommodation facilities provided by FNPF, tourists can donate to maintain the sustainability of this conservation program.
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