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Bali Starling on Verge of Extinction

Bali Starling on Verge of ExtinctionBali Island has one of the beautiful and elegant birds, namely Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi). Unfortunately, twitter of the bird is now rarely audible in the wild life because it is continuously hunted to be traded. About five years ago, the price of Bali starling was touted to reach IDR 50 million per pair. Later on, the price of such medium-sized warbler with a length of approximately 25 centimeters started to decline. Although declining, the price is still ranging from IDR 17 million to IDR 20 million per pair. With such high price, the Bali starling continues to be hunted by people.

Bali starling is a beautiful bird. Because of its beauty, the bird has become a sort of mascot for the Island of Bali and has been named the faunal symbol of Bali.

The Head of Buleleng Natural Resources Conservation of Buleleng, Gede Wenten, said that population of Bali starling was mostly located in the West Bali National Park (TNBB). But now, the existence of the very rare bird was extinct and virtually disappeared. Bali starling could only be found in breeding area such as at Tegal Bunder, TNBB. In addition, many people around the TNBB also bred it independently.

Wenten said that population of Bali starling at breeding location at Tegal Bunder amounted to some 35 pairs. Meanwhile, the Bali starling bred by people came to some 30 pairs. “Approximately 12 residents at Sumberklampok near the TNBB are breeding the birds,” said Wenten.

He added that his party continued to supervise the commercial breeding carried out by residents. The surveillance was made in order the bird would not be traded beyond the rules. It was also executed so that the bird would not be abandoned. “If they are found to abandon the bird, we will impose strict sanction,” he said. According to Wenten, the residents who did the breeding of Bali starling were allowed to sell the birds to others. However, the bird sold should be of the second filial of the parent or its grandchild. “Its mother cannot be sold. It is only allowed to sell the second filial or its grandchild,” he said.

Wenten confirmed the bird price was indeed expensive so that it was always sought after by bird collectors. Formerly, it was sold for IDR 50 million per pair. But now the price had started to fall to IDR 20 million. This happened because many people had bred the birds so that the amount of birds on sale turned a lot. “This is a normal case, if the number is scarce, the price is more expensive. But if many people have owned it, the price is going cheaper,” he said. (BTN/kmb)

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