Population of critically endangered Bali mynas soaring at West Bali National Park

Bali starlings, or Jalak Bali in Indonesian, is native to the island. Photo: balisafarimarinepark.com
Bali starlings, or Jalak Bali in Indonesian, is native to the island. Photo: balisafarimarinepark.com

In 2006, there were no signs of Bali mynas or starlings (locally known as Jalak Bali) in West Bali National Park (TNBB). 

Fast forward to yesterday, the park’s chief said that hundreds of Bali mynas are now soaring around the wildlife sanctuary, which straddles Jembaran and Buleleng regencies.

TNBB Head Agus Ngurah Krisna said that the park currently has on record 452 wild Bali mynas inhabiting the site, thus confirming the bird’s successful conservation efforts.

“The curik bird or jalak bali could not be found in the wild ini 2006. And in 2007 there were only seven or 10 of them; now [we’ve recorded] 452,” he said in Buleleng.

“Bird experts said a safe population of birds is 500 in total. It means [the current number] is approaching that and whether the population is steadily increasing or decreasing will depend on people’s support.”

With the Bali mynas’ population boom, the bird species can now be spotted at human settlements, flying around gardens and houses. Agus said he hopes society would welcome the birds’ presence and continue to support their conservation.

The Bali myna’s population is tracked every two years since the conservation program was launched in 1990. According to reports, more than 400 cage-bred Bali mynas were released into the park in the 1990s in the hope that the population would naturally increase. However, the numbers continually decreased to the point where the population fell below 10 by 2005, mainly due to poaching.



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