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Garuda, Itís for the Birds

Garuda Indonesia Forms Project with Taman Bali Safari Park to Preserve the Dwindling Number of Bali Starlings

(7/6/2013) The Indonesian National flag-carrier PT Garuda Indonesia is cooperating with Bali’s Taman Safari and Marine Park in the launch of a captive breeding and preservation center for the critically endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), also known as Rothschild’s Mynah.

Found only on the Island of Bali, the distinctively beautiful Bali Mynah was first discovered in 1910 and adopted as an iconic symbol for Bali in 1991. The bird, known locally as “Jalak Bali” also graces the face of Indonesia's Rp. 200 coin.

In a ceremony held at the Taman Safari Park on Thursday, July 4, 2013, a large aviary and breeding population of 18 Jalak Bali were symbolically transferred by the CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar.

Satar, speaking at the occasion, emphasized that the joint program by the airline with Taman Safari also includes training and education for local communities. “This is a pars of Garuda’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program and a wider commitment to conservation and the environment,” said Satar

The bird is under threat from man’s encroachment on its natural habitat and poachers who are able to fetch high prices for live birds sold on the black market.

Estimates in 2012 counted only 124 birds living in the wild, spread between the West Bali National Park and Nusa Penida Island. Meanwhile, an estimated 1,000 birds are believed to be held illegally in the hands of private collectors.

Satar told his audience that the eventual goal of the project with Bali's Taman Safari Park is to propagate the population of birds in order to permit a sustainable program of release back into the wild.

“We hope that through this program the conservation and propagation of the Bali Starling will permit visitors from Indonesia and abroad to enjoy these bird,” said Satar.

Separately, a Director of Garuda, Novianto Herupratomo assed that the inauguration of the project for the preservation of the Bali Starling coincides with the International Green Aviation Conference 2013.

The Green Aviation Conference was held July 1-4, 2013 and was convened in Bali to discuss ways to make the international aviation industry more environmentally friendly.