SURABAYA, E JAVA - The Surabaya Zoo (KBS) has released 40 endangered "Jalak Bali" (Leucopsar Rothschild) birds into the West Bali National Park (TNBB) in Buleleng District.
The zoo`s public relations officer, Anton Warsito, said here on Friday that Taman Safari Indonesia (Indonesia Safari Park) also released 20 birds into the national park, bringing the total number of released birds to 60.
"Before the birds were handed over to TNBB they had been temporarily kept by local people for breeding purposes," he said.
He said there would be two community groups that would receive the birds namely villagers of Sumber Kelompak and Sumber Batok. These people would be the first to receive the birds for breeding before the birds are finally released to the forest.
He said KBS would release the birds because their number in the zoo has already been quite big totally around 120.
He said the program was carried out in cooperation with the Association of Jalak Bali Conservationists.
Jalak Bali comes from the Surnidae family and has special characteristics such as white feather and black tips on the wing and tail. The bird`s cheek is bright blue and its feet greyish.
The bird species is only found in the western part of Bali island. It is the only endemic species of Bali which in 1991 was declared as the province`s fauna symbol. The bird is protected.
The bird was first discovered in 1910 and was named after British national Walter Rothschild who was the first to describe the species for the world science in 1912.
Because of its beauty the bird has become one of the most wanted birds by collectors.
Illegal poaching, the loss of forests are among the factors that have made its number to plummet to become endangered.
To prevent that from happening most zoos in the world are carrying out breeding programs for the bird.