Bali Starling: Surveillance Posts at TNBB (Java Pos, 2008)

'Additional surveillance posts, thieves to be sentenced on the spot; West Bali National Park (TNBB) keen to salvage near-extinct Bali Starling population', writes Anom Suardana in the Java Pos 10 August 2008. 

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The ever-decreasing Bali Starling population at TNBB, Jembrana Regency, seeks the attention of the Indonesian Forestry Department (Dephut). Yesterday, 9 August 2008, Forest Protection & Nature Conservation (PHKA) Director General Dardori visited TNBB to check on the world's birds' population, only available in Bali.

The starling's song was frequently heard when Dardori arrived at the location of the breeding facilities at Tegal Bunder. He released four Bali Starlings into the wild of Berumbun Forest (TNBB).

According to Dardori, apart from the diminishing habitat, uncontrolled theft is one of the causes of the decline of the birds' population. As a result, available food is getting scarce, also a as a consequence of theft or unchecked hunting. One bird can fetch a price of a few million rupiah per animal. "Given the continuous habitat decline, increasingly less food is available, and it is often stolen, so it is clear the birds' population can hardly multiply," he explains.

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Image left: Bali Starling release; Forest Protection & Nature Conservation (PHKA) Director General Dardori at TNBB (Anom Suardana / Radar Bali)

He stresses that the Bali Starling is a highly valued asset, so it needs to be salvaged. Tourists are willing to spend hundreds of dollars/euros just to catch a glimpse of the Bali Starling. "If we don't save this bird, we will be forced to go abroad to see this mascot bird." he says.

To save the Bali Starling, says Dardori, TNBB is tightening surveillance by building more surveillance posts in the park. This is just one of the solutions to curb forest destruction and theft. "With this surveillance system, we can follow and check every person entering the park. This way, material found used for catching birds can directly be confiscated," he says.

Dardori further explains that this surveillance strategy will be able to curb uncontrolled forest destruction and protect the Bali Starling, so that it is safeguarded, enabling it to breed. "People destructing the TNBB forest can be caught and sentenced according to the law, " stresses Dardori, accompanied by Bambang Darmadja, Head of the West Bali National Park.

Dardori says that there are 33 Bali Starlings in breeding facilities at Tegal Bunder, 14 at the turret (kubah) Pos Berumbun, and 14 in the wild. Of the birds we released into the wild, some have managed to breed as some birds were observed without a ring attached to their feet. This means these birds were born in the wild," he explains.

Some of the Bali Starling released into the wild are still found close to Pos Berumbun as they still depend on the food given to them by the park rangers. However, if they have bred, the offspring will have a wild character and spread into a much farther located habitat. "This is the importance of surveillance and awareness amongst the population to safeguard its habitat and the presence of the Bali Starling. If the bird is not disturbed or caught, over a period of time the number of birds will increase", he explains.

Apart from releasing four birds (two pairs) into TNBB, he also released 14 of these rare birds in Nusa Penida and a few pairs in Lombok (Nusa Tenggara Barat Regency). "The natural conditions of Nusa Penida and Lombok are similar to its original habitat, but we don't know for sure if they are able to breed, as there are no reports," he stated.

According to Dardori, in Surabaya and other places members of Bird Conservation Indonesia (Pelestari Burung Indonesia, PBI) have successfully bred Bali Starlings. Various birds have already been bred by this organisation. "Breeding results are promising. And this can lower our concern given the fact that this bird is [no longer] at the brink of extinction", he explains.

According to Dardori, although the Bali Starling is protected as a very rare bird, it can still be traded and privately kept as long as set conditions are fulfilled. The mother bird, therefore, has to be the pure result of breeding, she has to wear a foot ring, and a certificate is needed. But the most important condition is an official permit from the Forestry Department (Dephut). "Birds that may be traded or privately kept have to be the offspring of a mother bred in captivity, and in possession of our permit," he concludes. (Anom Suardana)

Source

  • Suardana, Anom - 'Tambah Pos Pengamanan, Pencuri Langsung Dihukum', di: Java Pos, 10 August 2008, p.32

* original Indonesian text*

Tambah Pos Pengamanan, Pencuri Langsung Dihukum; Kiat TNBB Selamatkan Populasi Curik Bali di Tengah Ancamam Kepunahan.

Kian menipisnya populasi curik (jalak) Bali di Taman Nasional Bali Barat (TNBB), Jembrana mengundang perhatian Departeman Kehutanan (Dephut). Kemarin, (9/8) Dirjen Perlindungan Hutan dan Konservasi Alam (PHKA) Dardori, turun ke TNBB untuk mengecek populasi burung yang di dunia hanya di Bali itu.

Kicauan curik bersahutan ketika Dardori tiba di lokasi penangkaran di kawasan Tegal Bunder. Setelah itu, dia melepas empat ekor curik Bali ke alam bebas di kawasan hutan Berumbun TNBB. Menurutnya, penyebab menipisnya populasi burung curik Bali tersebut selain habitatnya semakin sempit juga akibat perambahan liar. Sehingga membuat menurunnya ketersediaan pakan juga akibat masih adanya pencurian atau perburuan liar. Mengingat harganya yang mencapai puluhan juta per ekor. "Karena habitatnya terus menyempit, ketersediaan pakan menurun serta sering dicuri, jelas populasinya sulit berkembang," jelasnya.

Image: Lepas Jalak Bali: Dirjen Perlindungan Hutan dan Konservasi Alam (PHKA) Dardori di TNBB (Anom Suardana/Radar Bali)

Ditegaskan, jalak Bali ini adalah aset yang bernilai sangat tinggi, sehingga perlu diselamatkan. Turis berani mengeluarkan ratusan dolar atau euro hanya untuk melihat curik Bali ini. "Kalau tidak kita selamatkan, maka untuk melihat burung maskot Bali ini kita pergi ke luar negeri," ungkapnya.

Untuk menyelamatkan curik Bali itu, kata Dardori, TNBB sudah terus memperketat pengawasan dengan memperbanyak pos-pos pengamanan di kawasan TNBB. Ini adalah salah satu solusi untuk menekan perusakan habitat dan pencurian. "Dan dengan pola ini, setiap orang yang masuk TNBB bisa terpantau dan bisa kami periksa. Jika ditemukan benda-benda yang akan digunakan untuk menangkap burung ini langsung kami amankan," ungkapnya.

Dengan pola pengamanan seperti ini, lanjut Dardori, selain bisa menekan kerusakan habitat curik Bali dari perambahan liar, jumlah curik Bali di alam bebas juga aman untuk berkembang biak. Sehingga jumlahnya bisa bertambah. "Beberapa pelaku perusakan hutan TNBB yang tertangkap langsung kami proses sesuai hukum", tegas Dardori didampingi Kepala TNBB Bambang Darmadja.

Saat ini, kata Dadori, jumlah curik Bali yang ada di penangkaran Tegal Bunder ada 33 ekor, di kubah pos Berumbun 14 ekor, dan di alam bebas ada 14 ekor. "Dari jumlah yang kami lepas di alam bebas itu ada yang sudah berhasil berkembang biak karena dari pemantauan ada curik Bali yang ditemukan di kakinya tidak menggunakan ring, itu artinya burung itu lahir di alam bebas." jelasnya.

Curik Bali yang dilepas di alam bebas, sementara waktu memang masih berada di sekitar areal pos Berumbun karena mereka masih tergantung dengan pakan yang disediakan petugas TNBB. Namun, jika sudah berkembang biak, maka keturunanya akan memiliki sifat liar dan menyebar ke habitat yang lebih jauh. "Di sinilah pentingnya pengawasan dan kesadaran masyarakat untuk menjaga habitat dan keberadaan curik Bali ini, jika tidak diganggu atau dicuri semakin lama jumlahnya akan semakin banyak." terangnya.

Selain melepas empat ekor atau dua pasang di TNBB, untuk menyelamatkan curik Bali, pihaknya juga sudah melepas empatbelas ekor burung langka itu di wilayah Nusa Penida dan beberapa pasang dilepas di Lombok NTB. "Nusa Penida dan di Lombok kondisi alamnya tidak jauh beda dengan di habitat aslinya, namun kami belum tahu apakah bisa berkembang biak atau tidak karena belum ada laporan," ujarnya.

Menurut Dardori, curik Bali juga sudah berhasil ditangkarkan di berbagai daerah seperti di Surabaya dan penangkaran di beberapa daerah yang dilakukan oleh anggota pelestari burung Indonesia (PBI). Penangkaran tersebut sudah mampu mengembang biakkan curik Bali dalam jumlah cukup banyak. "Hasil tangkaran itu cukup banyak dan ini cukup menggembirakan. Dan ini bisa mengurangi kekhawatiran kami kalau curik Bali akan punah," terangnya.

Menurut Dardori, meski dilindungi sebagai hewan sangat langka, namun curik Bali tetap bisa diperjualbelikan atau dipelihara sepanjang persyaratannya dipenuhi. Yakni induknya murni hasil tangkaran dengan tanda di kakinya dipasangi ring dan ada sertifikatnya. Serta yang paling penting harus ada izin dari Dephut. "Yang bisa diperjualbelikan atau dipelihara harus keturunan dari induk hasil tangkaran serta harus ada izin dari kami," pungkasnya. (Anom Suardana)

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