Begawan Foundation Releases Endangered Bali Starlings at Green School
Eight Birds Released on Campus in Effort to Save the Endangered Species from Extinction
November 5, 2012—Sibang Kaja, Bali, Indonesia. The Begawan Foundation announced today that it released four breeding pairs of Bali Starling birds in Sibang Kaja, its first release of the endangered birds from its breeding facility on the Green School campus. The Bali Starling, the official mascot of Bali province, has been registered as an endangered bird species by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) since 1970, when numbers were reduced significantly by both poaching and loss of habitat.
Eight Bali Starling birds were released today in honor of World Environment Day.“With Begawan Foundation’s Bali Starling flock successfully expanding to a total of 93 birds within the Green School breeding site, including recently hatched young, we decided to release four pairs of adult Bali Starlings into the wild. The local priesthood selected today’s date as propitious for such an event, and we have received support from all of the local communities in Sibang,” said Bradley Gardner, founder of Begawan Foundation.
Green School, an international preschool through high school with a specific focus on environmental studies, held a special ceremony for the release of the birds, followed by a presentation by Begawan Foundation Co-Founder Bradley Gardner. Green School students have been involved with the Bali Starling breeding program since 2010by feeding the birds, monitoring breeding pairs, conducting fund-raising activities, and auditing previously released birds on the island of Nusa Penida.
“The Green School is committed to continue working with the Begawan Foundation to ensure that the wild population reaches a level where the Bali Starling is no longer at risk of extinction. We embrace projects like this as powerful learning opportunities for our children,” said Green School Facilitator Chris Thompson.
Prior to their release into the wild, the birds were tagged in order to record their movements on a daily basis. Nest boxes placed in nearby large trees will provide homes for the released Bali Starlings to lay their eggs and begin a small new flock in the area. With nest boxes, food, and water available within the breeding area, the birds are expected to stay close to home where they can continue to be observed and monitored by staff of the Begawan Foundation as well as byGreen School students, staff, and security.
Raja Segran, General Manager of Jurong Bird Park, and Sonja Luz, Director of Conservationfrom the Research and Learning Centre,both from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, along with Andrew Owen, Curator of Birds, and Roger Wilkinson, Head of Field Conservation & Researchfrom Chester Zoo in England,attended the ceremony andheld meetings regarding future Bali Starling releases.
Previously, 65 Bali Starlings bred by the Begawan Foundation were released in 2006 and 2007 on Nusa Penida. In 2010, Begawan Foundation brought back its remaining captive stock along with their enclosures to the Foundation’s breeding on the Green School campus, and recommenced its breeding program.Begawan Foundation’s vision and missionto increase the Bali Starling population in its habitat and to improve genetic diversity was strengthened in 2011 by the homecoming of 20 Bali Starlings from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and UK – a project coordinated by the European Zoo Association, along with three birds from Wildlife Reserves Singapore. These birds have beenpaired with local Bali Starlings and used purely for breeding and to increase the Bali Starling bloodlines, with their offspring marked for future release programs in Bali.
This marks theBegawan Foundation’sfirst release on mainland Bali at Green School with the expectation of more releases to come.In their efforts to safeguard the birds’ future, the Begawan Foundation and the Green School will continue to monitor Bali Starlings in the wild and also educate the local community about the importance of their conservation.
MEDIA: Representatives from the Begawan Foundation and the Green School are available for press interviews. Photos are available upon request.
About the Begawan Foundation
Established in 1999 by Bradley and Debbie Gardner, Begawan Foundation was launched with a mission to give back to Bali’s local population by addressing nature conservation, education and healthcare needs. Its first initiative was the Bali Starling Conservation Project, which established a successful Breeding & Release Program for this critically endangered species after acquiring 2 pairs of Bali Starlings from England.
Begawan Foundation adopted a professional approach to the project of breeding and conservation of the Bali Starling, and between 1999 and 2005, the Foundation’s captive population grew from four to 97 birds. A total of 65 Bali Starlings were released during 2006 and 2007 on Nusa Penida. These birds, which have now spread to Nusa Lembongan, are monitored on a regular basis.
A not-for-profit organization, Begawan Foundation is funded by its Founders and relies on donations to assist its important work. Wildlife Reserves Singaporeis an ongoing supporter of Begawan Foundation. Funding is currently being sought to expand existing programs, monitor and engage local communities and schools in conservation and preservation of the environment, along with developing and maintaining its breeding site at the Green School in SibangKaja.More information can be found at www.begawanfoundation.org
About the Green School
The Green School is an international school in Bali, Indonesia whose mission is to be the #1 model of sustainability education in the world. Awarded the “2012 Greenest School on Earth” by the Center for Green Schools at the United States Green Building Council, this “destination school” has attracted over 250 preschool through high school students from more than 55 countries seeking a unique, nature-based, student-centered education.
Green School was founded in 2008 by John and Cynthia Hardy, award-winning jewelers, sustainable business pioneers, and 30-year residents of Bali who recognized a unique opportunity to create something truly inspiring and outside of the structural, conceptual, and physical limitations of most traditional schools. Alan Wagstaff guides the school’s student-centered curriculum, a New Zealander who serves as the school’s Learning Manager and whose vision of a school-centered community played an integral role in the founding of the project.
Supported by :