TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - On December 31, 2013, Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, released a pair of the critically endangered Bali Starlings back into the wild at the bird sanctuary in Nusa Penida island.
The Minister said that "[he is] very delighted to release these magnificent birds into the wild. I asked FNPF [Friends of the National Parks Foundation] and all of the people here on Nusa Penida to fulfill part of the Ministry of Forestry's commitment to protect and enhance this native endangered bird as our natural resource that needs to be preserved."
The beautiful Bali Starling is Bali's regional mascot and is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List, and is listed on Appendix I of CITES because its population had declined drastically in 2005 and only less than 10 species were predicted to remain.
FNPF's Founder and Director Bayu Wirayudha stated that "[he was] so happy that finally the whole range of Forestry Department ranging from the West Bali National Park, Department of Forestry's Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), and Minister have officially shown their support for, and cooperation with [FPNP]."
This is the second time a Minister of Forestry has ever released birds on behalf of FNPF. In 2009, the previous Minister of Forestry Ms Ka'ban visited Nusa Penida to release two Bali Starlings at the FNPF community center.