By: Nitya Swastika
Begawan Foundation has been working for more than twenty years to preserve the Bali Starling and has undertaken a number of releases before, such as those in Nusa Penida in 2006 and 2007, and in Sibang in 2014. In order to realize our goal to see Bali Starlings flying freely in the wild, on September 10 2021, we released a further two Bali Starlings at a community compound in Banjar Pengaji, Melinggih Kelod, Payangan. This is the third release for 2021.
Prior to their release, our veterinarian, dr. Sugiarta, accompanied by our bird keeper, Kadek, installed a microchip in the pair’s bodies should they need to be identified. The release was attended by the Kelian (the leader in a banjar, a small administrative area in Bali) and the Bendesa (the leader in a Bali village who takes care of customary activities), both members of Banjar Pengaji where the release was located. Our local village heads hope that the release of the Bali Starling in the area will provide benefits to all parties, and the presence of the birds in the wild will provide an opportunity for all to establish ecotourism programs.
Once birds are released, the foundation staff routinely conduct monitoring every morning and evening to track the location of the birds. Hard monitoring is guided by our veterinarian and bird keeper, with the assistance of other staff.
Unfortunately the female bird of this pair disappeared in the first week after release. On October 13 2021, the conservation team caught the male bird and returned him to the Breeding Centre to be paired with a new female.