The Bali Starling - also known as the Bali Mynah, Leucopsar Rothschildi or, to the local population as Curik Bali - is a beautiful bird of about 25 centimeters in length marked by it white body, a long, drooping crest, black tips on the wings and tail. Most distinguishing this species are blue markings around the eye and a yellow bill.
Threatened with extinction the remaining wild populations of this bird are found only in Bali, limited to the West Bali National Park.
Living in the leafy tops of tall trees, the timid bird only descends to the jungle floor in search of water where it is most at risk to human and animal predation.
The estimated 30-60 birds still extant in the wild mate during Bali's rainy seasons, between November and April. The male starling seeks mates by spreading its wings and bobbing its head.
While domesticated populations do exist at several breeding centers, those in the wild are threatened by deforestation, habitat competition with other starling species and poaching by criminals seeking to sell the starlings for the very high price paid by private bird collectors.
Many concerned individuals and organizations work hard to help preserve and protect the remaining Bali Starlings living wild. Taman Safari Indonesia in association with the Association for the Preservation of the Curik Bali (APCB) are leading these efforts. Last year, the then reigning Forestry Minister, M.S. Kaban, and the APCB released 34 starlings into the West Bali National Park. The released birds were raised in captivity by members of the ACPB, the Yokohama Zoo and Taman Safari Indonesia.
The chairman of the ACPB, Toni Sumampau, quoted in the Bali Post, said the released starlings came from breeding programs at the Taman Safari Indonesia, Yokohama Zoo and the West Bali National Park. There is currently another breeding center in operation at Nusa Penida island, located just a short distance off Bali's southern coast.
The Bali Safari and Marine Park - a subsidiary of Taman Safari Indonesia, plays an active part in the efforts of ACPB to protect and preserve the Bali Starling. This year, 8 Bali Starlings have been hatched at the Bali facility. Those visiting the Bali Safari and Marine park can see the Bali Starlings in the Barong Lobby area of the Fresh Water Aquarium.
[Bali Safari & Marine Park]
[Bali Bird Park]
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