Bali Safari Park GM Thomas Colbert, and Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana, at Bali starlings releasing ceremony on 26 April 2019.
Bali, Indonesia - Bali Safari Park in collaboration with the KASI Foundation, Feldman Eco Park, PKBSI (Indonesia Zoos & Aquarium Association), APCB (Bali Starling Conservation Society) and BKSDA Bali (Nature Conservation Agency) held a workshop on Bird Release Protocol and released 40 Bali starlings on 25 -26 April 2019 at Bali Safari Park.
A joint commitment for conserving protected birds and other wildlife was signed by Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana, Bali Police Deputy Chief I Gede Alit Widana, West Bali National Park head Agus Ngurah Krisna, and the head of APCB, Tony Sumampau.
Prior to the release, several habitat studies were carried out at the Park to assess suitability as a potential release site for the birds. A total of 38 bird species were found within Bali Safari Park, indicating that this location could support a good carrying capacity of birds in the future.
Bali Safari Park, one of the leading conservation institutions in Bali, is committed to the long-term protection and sustainability of Indonesian endemic and native species, through consolidated breeding and release programs.
Captive breeding facilities were established specially for the Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), a critically endangered bird endemic to Bali.
Captive-bred birds were released into the wild to supplement and increase Bali starling populations. Previous release programs have not resulted in significant positive impact to wild populations and this current effort aims to change that.
Conservationists have identified two main challenges to the successful increase of wild Bali starling population numbers; firstly, low habitat carrying capacity and secondly, increasing adaptability of Bali starlings to their release habitat.
The success of the black-winged starling release program at Taman Safari Indonesia Bogor in 2016, is used as a model of how captive-bred Bali starlings can be released as part of in situ conservation efforts, using similar release protocols.
Bali Safari Park has been conducting public awareness programs to encourage communities in three nearby villages, namely Medahan, Lebih and Serongga, as well as students from nine elementary schools around Bali Safari Park to protect and monitor the released birds and other wildlife.