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Captive Breeding Success for the Bali Starling

The Bali starling, one of the iconic birds native to the island of Bali, was pushed to the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching. Famous for its snowy white plumage, this stunning bird’s most distinctive feature is the patch of bright blue skin surrounding its eyes. Once kept in the palace of the Raja and registered as critically endangered wildlife since 1970, the Bali starling almost completely vanished from Bali.

Thanks to the Begawan Foundation, an organization dedicated to animal conservation and the natural environment, this bird species was successfully reintroduced to Bali. The founders, Bradley and Debora Gardner brought two pairs of Bali starlings to Bali from a breeder in England and started a captive breeding and release program in 1999 to once again reach a sustainable wild population.

Through strict law enforcement or awig awig, local communities were empowered to protect the reintroduced birds. The foundation continues to monitor all released birds and reports to the Forestry Department in Bali on their conservation efforts.

 

The breeding and release site is located at Sibang, near Ubud at about 45 minutes driving. The birds have adapted to their new environment by adjusting their diet to available fruits such as wild figs and insects, small lizards and worms. There is also a visitor center at the Begawan Foundation’s location in Sibang, a must see for families who want to share with their children the importance of conservation and environmental education.

Another great place to spot this extraordinary beautiful bird is the luxurious Amankila Resort in East Bali, nominated as custodians of two breeding pairs which will eventually return to freedom.

For more details on visiting Bali in a sustainable and responsible way to learn more about animal conservation and ecotourism, please contact at [email protected]

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