Indonesia: Nusa Penida Bird Sanctuary
On Nusa Penida, a small island off the south coast of Bali, Indonesia, are two small blocks of rainforest totalling 16 acres that are owned by Drh I.G.N. Bayu Wirayudha and the Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF) respectively, that partly comprise the Nusa Penida Bird Sanctuary. This coastal land adjoins hundreds of acres of protected land owned by the local community and local government.
The WLT and HSI are extremely happy that we have been able to purchase 13 acres of this important habitat, to be managed by FNPF.
The sanctuary has a rich array of wildlife and rainforest dwelling species which enjoy total protection. This includes the green junglefowl, white browed crake, pied imperial pigeon, Asia kestrel, Hause swift, rainbow bee-eater, common iora, black-naped oriole, black-winged starling, olive-backed sunbird, little spiderhunter, Javan munia, edible-nest swiftlets, lesser frigate bird, crown-billed drongo, grey-tailed tattler and many, many other bird species. The sanctuary is also thick with a rich diversity of invertebrate, amphibian and reptile fauna, including two species of python, three viper species, a cobra and the monitor lizard. The most notable mammal inhabitant of the area is the long-tailed macaque.
Previously cleared of much of its vegetation, FNPF is in the process of developing and implementing an extensive management plan for replanting in the refuge. A comprehensive and dedicated reforestation program has been underway on the island since 2005, which in 2008 alone, resulted in a total of 31,248 plants, from 27 species, were distributed and planted on Nusa Penida.
These revegetation efforts support FNPF's unique program to reintroduce highly threatened Indonesian birds into the sanctuary, including the Bali starling, lesser sulphur cockatoo, and Mitchell's lorikeets. The Bali starling is a magnificent species that has come very close to extinction in recent years. In fact, the situation was so dire for the Bali starling that the species would have been extinct without a captive breeding program that has been conducted in several countries worldwide, including in Indonesia. FNPF supports the Begawan Foundation Bali Starling captive breeding and release program, and the Nusa Penida Bird Sanctuary is a critical release site for this program.
This program has already achieved some wonderful outcomes. The Bali Starling population on Nusa Penida is well on its way to viable survival levels that are naturally sustainable on the island. To date 63 birds have been released, and there are now at least 40 offspring bred in the wild that have reached maturity.
The Nusa Penida Bird Sanctuary project has proven to be very successful and receives a lot support from the local community in the area. Its success is largely due to the sense of cohesiveness it has generated, working a holistic way to bring together members of farmer's groups, village elders' temple board members, schools, government institutions and conservation groups.