Begawan’s Bali Starling Conservation Program was launched in 1999 with the goal of saving this critically endangered bird from extinction. In addition to the local community, the community-based conservation program in Melinggih Kelod Village has also been open to breeders since 2018.
Begawan gives the local community the opportunity to be part of a Bali Starling Foster Parent Project. Since the locals have pride in the Bali Starling as their mascot, they are given the opportunity to embrace ownership and responsibility for the protection of their icon as local breeders. In the project, each local breeder fosters a breeding pair of Bali Starlings. They receive assistance with bird health checks from the foundation and they also have the opportunity to learn during breeder training about Bali Starling conservation.
Evaluation for the Foster Parent Project is conducted during visits conducted by the staff. Begawan evaluates any issues or comments given by the local breeders through open discussion to ensure the birds are healthy, and food and nest materials are available and up to standard.
In March 2022, Asosiasi Basebali became a new member and an extension of Begawan’s Foster Parent Project. Based in Jembrana Regency, the association plans that the captive breeding of the Bali Starlings will be carried out in the Learning Forest they manage, with a team to monitor the birds. In April 2022, Begawan organised a breeders’ training session for Asosiasi Basebali. The team, consisting of nine members, attended a training at the Learning Centre. Conducted by our veterinarian, the training also included a field visit to Begawan’s current members of the Foster Parent Project in Melinggih Kelod and to the release sites where Begawan’s previously-released birds fly freely in the wild.
On 20 April, Begawan veterinarian visited Yehembang Kauh Village in Jembrana for “Awig-awig” socialisation, an instrument of customary law in the Balinese society. The socialisation emphasised how the law plays a major role in supporting the success of the Bali Starling Breeding and Release Program. Thirty-five people, ranging from government officials to members of local community groups, attended the session. The participants fully support the initiation of this program in Yehembang Kauh, and an agreement on bird protection in the village was signed.
To continue with the collaboration, on Tuesday 3 May 2022, Begawan delivered a Bali Starling enclosure to Yeh Embang Kauh Village where Begawan’s pair will breed. A Bali Starling pair that has been carefully selected by our veterinarian will go to Yeh Embang Kauh, where the offspring of this pair will be released in the village. (Nitya Swastika)