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Known by several names including Bali Mynah and Rothschild Mynah, this critically endangered bird is hard to miss in the forest. A medium sized starling at 25cm long. Mainly pure white with black wing and tail tips. Area of bright blue skin around the face and eye and a flowing white crest. Bill is yellow/grey and legs are grey. Images show wild, non-ringed birds in native forest.
The only vertebrate endemic species left on the Island of Bali in Indonesia. Although released at several sights the only viable breeding wild population seems to be in the north of the island. (A programme of released birds on the offshore island of Nusa Penida has since failed.) Found on forest edges and savannah, it is usually seen high in the canopy and rarely on the ground. Please note that exact coordinates and location have been modified in accordance with PN policy on critically endangered organisms.
This species has an incredible story. Wild populations dipped to an all time low of an estimated 6 birds in 2001. The last survey in December 2016 counted 87 individuals in the wild. The biggest threat being bird poaching where these birds command a very high price and are seen as status symbols for their owners. Captive breeding has been carried out for years now and young birds released into the wild. These birds dont always acclimatize well and some dont breed and many are re caught by poachers. To help with this, a new incentive has been introduced where bird breeders can get a license to breed and sell birds legally but must give 10% of the young they breed to the programme. This way more birds are being re introduced and legally sold birds take the sting out of the poached bird market. Not an ideal solution but one that may yet see this beautiful bird recover. Ref: Ethics Bali Starling Rehabilitation, ICUN Leucopsar rothschildi
Spotted on Apr 17, 2017
Submitted on May 13, 2017
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