ENJOY AN EGGY DAY OUT IN JURONG BIRD PARK

Leave a comment

Weekend carnival hosts behind-the-scenes tours, celebrity tours, photographic trails and egg hunt. Kids receive 50% off admission.

A salmon-crested cockatoo chick at Jurong Bird Park’s Breeding & Research Centre, whom visitors will get to name in Game for a Name, part of the gamut of activities during Eggy Day Out.

A salmon-crested cockatoo chick at Jurong Bird Park’s Breeding & Research Centre, whom visitors will get to name in Game for a Name, part of the gamut of activities during Eggy Day Out.

Singapore, 10 April 2014 – To commemorate 50 years of tourism development and promotions in Singapore and to thank Singaporeans for their support, Jurong Bird Park hatches the inaugural Eggy Day Out from 18-20 April for Singapore residents to discover little known aspects of the park.

The Eggy Day Out carnival weekend features a plethora of eggs-periential activities, including:

  • Lory Loft Behind-the-Scenes Tour which highlights the colourful lories and how their unique feed is prepared.
  • Memories Trail, led by Jurong Bird Park’s General Manager who will bring participants down memory lane and share how the park has evolved through his 38-year experience as a veteran.
  • Junior Eggs-pert Tour that showcases how eggs are incubated and a bird’s life stages at the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC).
  • Celebrity Eggs-cursion, in which personalities like MediaCorp Artistes Bryan Wong, MediaCorp Class 95FM DJ Glenn Ong, MediaCorp Gold 90.5FM DJ The Flying Dutchman and MediaCorp Love 97.2FM DJ Leelian Chua will lead tours at Waterfall Aviary / South East Asian Birds Aviary.
As part of Eggs-periment during Jurong Bird Park’s Eggy Day Out, participants will learn about the floating egg phenomenon, amongst other fun scientific experiments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

As part of Eggs-periment during Jurong Bird Park’s Eggy Day Out, participants will learn about the floating egg phenomenon, amongst other fun scientific experiments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

To top it all, children between the ages of 3-12 years will enjoy 50% discount on admission tickets during Eggy Day Out by flashing a coupon that can be downloaded from www.birdpark.com.sg/eggydayout between 10-20 April. In addition to this, holders of Feather Friends, Friends of Night Safari, Friends of River Safari and Friends of the Zoo membership cards are entitled to five complimentary child admission tickets when they purchase up to five adult tickets from 18-20 April.

Over at River Safari, the park is introducing two behind-the-scenes tours:

  • Fishy Business, a brand new tour which showcases the complex life support systems in the Amazon Flooded Forest.
  • Be a Panda Researcher, where visitors learn to identify panda tracks and examine panda poo and paw prints, and discover ways we can save them from extinction.

Those hungry for more can head to Singapore Zoo for Animals in the Pink, which offers a peek into the park’s Central Kitchen and world-class animal hospital or Spineless & Successful, where visitors will discover how breeding and maintenance work is conducted for butterflies, scorpions, stick insects and other invertebrates.

Activity details (Jurong Bird Park)
All activities are free of charge unless otherwise stated. Registration is needed for some activities at www.birdpark.com.sg/eggydayout or at the Activities Registration Booth at Penguin Coast. Park admission charges apply.

Activity details (River Safari)

Activity details (Singapore Zoo)

For more information about Eggy Day Out and the discounts, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg/eggydayout.

GIANT PANDA KAI KAI ACES ANNUAL HEALTH CHECK

Leave a comment

Preliminary results indicate that six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile.

Singapore, 3 April 2014River Safari’s male panda, Kai Kai, underwent a thorough medical examination last Friday as part of a routine annual check-up, and the veterinary team is happy with the results.

The 1.5 hour-long examination comprised a full dental and body check, blood sample withdrawal, an X-ray and ultrasound scan. For the first time since he arrived in Singapore, Kai Kai’s health check also included electroejaculation — a technique commonly used for semen collection to evaluate the reproductive status of animals. While more data analysis is being conducted toassess the quality of the sperms, preliminary results indicate that six-year-old Kai Kai is a healthy, fertile male.

Vets and keepers are closely monitoring Kai Kai and his female partner, Jia Jia, for significant changes in behaviour that indicate their readiness to mate. When ready, male pandas will vocalise, perform handstands against trees, walls and rocks, scent-marking as high up as possible. Females will show signs such as scent-marking, restlessness and characteristic bleating sounds.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team, led by Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Serena Oh (right), prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for a routine medical examination that includes a full dental and body check. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team, led by Assistant Director of Veterinary
Services, Dr. Serena Oh (right), prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for a routine medical
examination that includes a full dental and body check. Medical checks show that the six-year-old
male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team performs an ultrasound scan on an anaesthetised Kai Kai as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the sixyear- old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team performs an ultrasound scan on an
anaesthetised Kai Kai as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the sixyear-
old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for an X-ray as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for an
X-ray as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male
panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

SWEET SURPRISE FOR NIGHT SAFARI’S OLDEST MALAYAN TAPIR

Leave a comment

Manis the Malayan tapir celebrates her 35th birthday at world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals.

Away from the public eye, Manis’ keepers donned black and white polka dotted party hats in her honour and toasted her to many more happy, healthy years as she chomped on her birthday cake, made with her favourite food, including bread, watermelon, papaya and honeydew. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Away from the public eye, Manis’ keepers donned black and white polka dotted party hats in her honour and toasted her to many more happy, healthy years as she chomped on her birthday cake, made with her favourite food, including bread, watermelon, papaya and honeydew. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 1 April 2014Night Safari’s oldest Malayan tapir, Manis, turned 35 years old on 24 March 2014, and celebrated her birthday in style. She is also one of the region’s oldest Malayan tapirs under human care.

Manis, whose name means ‘sweet’ in Malay, tucked into a lovingly created layered cake consisting of bananas, bread and watermelons, surrounded by honeydew and papaya balls, and blended carrots and fruit sticks spelling out her name and age. The celebrations took place in the back of house yard, away from the public eye.

Night Safari currently has 10 tapirs in her collection; another two reside in Singapore Zoo. Between the two parks, 27 Malayan tapirs have been born. The last birth occurred on 3 June 2013, and happens to be Manis’ great-granddaughter.

Malayan tapirs are the largest of the five species of tapir, and the only one native to Asia. Listed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species, threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, and increasingly, hunting pressure.

*IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

EXPERTS AIM TO SAVE ONE OF SINGAPORE’S MOST THREATENED UNIQUE SPECIES AT INAUGURAL ROUNDTABLE ON FRESHWATER CRAB CONSERVATION

Leave a comment

NParks, NUS, IUCN, and WRS among agencies collaborating to save endemic crabs, including Johora singaporensis which is among the 100 most threatened species in the world.

Singapore, 29 March 2014Johora singaporensis, commonly called the Singapore freshwater crab, is arguably one of the most threatened unique species of Singapore. To discuss ways to develop an overall plan for conservation of this species, experts convened in the inaugural Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation which began with a two-day closed-door panel discussion, and concluded with a public forum on 29 March 2014.

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: DANIEL NG

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an
indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: DANIEL NG

The four organisations involved are National Parks Board (NParks), National University of Singapore (NUS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). The inaugural Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation is funded by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.

First discovered and described in 1986, the Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis) is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, and is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. This endemic species, only found in Singapore, grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change.

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: CAI YIXIONG

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: CAI YIXIONG

“When I discovered and named this species in the 1980s, I had no idea that its future would be a matter of debate and concern some 25 years on,” said Professor Peter Ng of the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science. “It heartens me that so many people are now trying to save this ‘insignificant invertebrate’ from imminent extinction. It would indeed have been a dark tragedy if discovering the species all those years ago was merely a prelude to its extinction. I hope it is not.”

“Crabs such as Johora singaporensis are typically found in hill streams, which is a rare habitat in Singapore to begin with, being restricted to only the central part of the island,” added Assistant Professor Darren Yeo, who is also with the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science.

Decade-long monitoring of the populations of Johora singaporensis has revealed that these crabs have an environmental preference for relatively clean and fast-flowing streams in the highlands with a near neutral pH. Presently, the crab is found largely in Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. They can persist even in small fragmented habitats under the right conditions. Current conservation efforts include plans to establish a breeding programme, as well as an ongoing two-year research project launched in 2013 by NParks and NUS to study the conditions of the crabs’ existing habitats and possible remedial actions. As conservation efforts gain momentum, the next important milestone is to gather key stakeholders together to improve them.

The Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation brings together key stakeholders involved in conservation of the iconic Johora singaporensis, for consolidation and dissemination of results of ongoing freshwater crab conservation efforts in Singapore. Foreign and local ecologists including researchers from the National University of Singapore and officers from the National Parks Board working on Johora singaporensis, as well as other members from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Nature Society Singapore, Ministry of Defence, Singapore Land Authority, National Environment Agency, Public Utilities Board, and Urban Redevelopment Authority have all been invited to participate, brainstorm, contribute their unique perspectives, and help mould a future conservation plan for this species.

Dr Lena Chan, Director of National Biodiversity Centre, NParks, said, “NParks is committed to the conservation of our native freshwater organisms, particularly endemic species like the Singapore Freshwater Crab Johora singaporensis, Johnson’s Freshwater Crab Irmengardia johnsoni and Swamp Forest Crab Parathelphusa reticulata. We look forward to our usual amicable multi-agency co-operation which is crucial for the success of this conservation initiative.”

Dr Neil Cumberlidge, Chair of the IUCN SSC Freshwater Crab and Crayfish Specialist Group, and Dr Philip McGowan of the IUCN Species Survival Conservation Planning Sub-Committee will both participate in the Roundtable, adding valuable inputs to the design of the conservation plan. Dr McGowan said, “Effective conservation in today’s world has to balance the needs of species with those of people and their interests. Our approach has evolved to reflect that. The purpose of strategic planning is to understand what is driving the threats to the Singapore freshwater crab and then develop a holistic and realistic way forward that gives this iconic species the best chance of survival. Strategic planning on its own will not save the species, but the understanding and agreement that is part of the planning process, greatly improves its survival prospects.”

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “Wildlife Reserves Singapore is continuously exploring ways we can work with field researchers, and contribute to the ex-situ conservation of Johora singaporensis. A possible method may be to establish a trial breeding project in River Safari for these native crabs, followed by the eventual reintroduction of the species into restored, rehabilitated streams.”

This Roundtable is also indicative of Singapore’s willingness and seriousness regarding the protection of its freshwater biodiversity and the ‘not-so-charismatic’ fauna.

RIVER SAFARI CELEBRATES OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING

Leave a comment

- Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park houses 6000 animal specimens from over 200 species. Latest WRS attraction set to enhance wildlife experience in Mandai.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated at the Grand Opening of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park on 28 February 2014, and is seen here with Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang, both symbolically rowing the boat forward for River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated at the Grand Opening of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park on 28 February 2014, and is seen here with Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang, both symbolically rowing the boat forward for River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 28 February 2014 – Mandai, an area synonymous with Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, has become even more wild today with the much-anticipated official opening of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park.

River Safari is the latest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks, which includes Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, and Singapore Zoo. With a unique focus on freshwater habitats, the park adds a new dimension to the wildlife experience in Singapore.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, officiated the grand opening before 300 guests.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong together with Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry having an up-close encounter with a Brazilian tapir along the Amazon River Quest on 28 February 2014, at the Grand Opening of River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong together with Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry having an up-close encounter with a Brazilian tapir along the Amazon River Quest on 28 February 2014, at the Grand Opening of River Safari. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We are very proud today to officially introduce River Safari to the world. From conceptualisation and design to construction and completion, River Safari represents our dedication to conserve wildlife, our commitment to educate the public about threats to freshwater habitats, and our passion to create an enriching and fun recreational venue for visitors all over the world.”

The journey to creating Asia’s first and only river-themed park started with an idea to create a freshwater aquarium to complement the offerings of Singapore Zoo. This spark evolved and gave rise to River Safari.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admires the gracefulness of the endangered giant river otters at Amazon Flooded Forest as they swim by, during River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admires the gracefulness of the endangered giant river otters at Amazon Flooded Forest as they swim by, during River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Today, the 12-ha River Safari offers visitors a wildlife adventure inspired by the world’s most iconic rivers, including the Amazon, Ganges, Mekong, Nile and Yangtze rivers. Built at a cost of $160 million, River Safari houses one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna. To date, the park features 6,000 animal specimens representing 200 species, of which 40 are threatened. These include river giants and mega fishes such as the giant river otter, giant freshwater stingray, Mekong giant catfish and Singapore’s very own pair of resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

WRS parks are world-renowned for their open concept exhibit design, and with River Safari, the team pushed the boundaries further and created a park that would provide visitors with an unforgettable adventure through the world’s most iconic rivers.

Manatees and River Safari’s team of aquarists at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium in Amazon Flooded Forest, thanking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for gracing River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Manatees and River Safari’s team of aquarists at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium in Amazon Flooded Forest, thanking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for gracing River Safari’s Grand Opening on 28 February 2014. All photos provided by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“The park has been well-received since we opened the Giant Panda Forest in Nov 2012, and our soft opening in Apr 2013. We have already welcomed more than 1.1 million visitors from all over the world and this shows that visitors are curious about the world of river habitats. We feel positive that River Safari has a huge role to play in satisfying this hunger for knowledge about freshwater inhabitants,” said Ms Chiang.

When visiting River Safari, visitors can look forward to interactive and digital educational interpretives, discovery stations where visitors can learn more about animals and freshwater conservation issues and behind-the-scene tours which provide a clearer glimpse into the world these animals live in.

River Safari opens daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm and tickets are priced at S$25 (adult), S$16 (child between 3-12 years) and $12.00 (local senior citizens 60 years and above). From 5 March 2014, tickets to the Amazon River Quest boat ride will be priced at S$5 (adult) and S$3 (child).

For more information, please log on to www.riversafari.com.sg

HUMAN RACE INTRIGUES ANIMALS AT SAFARI ZOO RUN 2014

Leave a comment

- Over 8000 runners show up in race to pay homage to the late Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s orang utan as elephants, lions, and rhinoceros watch on.

Singapore, 16 February 2014 – Unlike the usual lazy Sunday morning spent lounging in the treetops, the orang utans in Singapore Zoo watched curiously as runners raced in the Safari Zoo Run 2014, which was conceived six years ago to commemorate their most famous matriarch, Ah Meng.

Over 8000 runners arrived at Singapore Zoo for the run to pay homage to the late Ah Meng, one of Singapore’s most loved and iconic animal personalities, which died of old age in February 2008. The race spans across Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, taking runners through lush green paths and enthralling animal exhibits.

The Safari Zoo Run also aids in wildlife conservation; a portion of the proceeds from this year’s race will go towards the care of endangered animals in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mr Ching Wei Hong, Chairman, National Family Council, flags off the annual Safari Zoo Run. He said, “I’m delighted to see the many families and happy faces today participating in the Safari Zoo Run. These families have created special family moments today, which will stay with them for life. This is in essence what we hope to promote through ‘Families for Life’ – to encourage families to spend more time together and strengthen family bonds. The Safari Zoo Run is an excellent event for families, and the Families for Life Council hopes to work with more like-minded partners to create opportunities for family bonding.” PHOTO CREDITS: PINK APPLE

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mr Ching Wei Hong, Chairman, National Family Council, flags off the annual Safari Zoo Run. He said, “I’m delighted to see the many families and happy faces today participating in the Safari Zoo Run. These families have created special family moments today, which will stay with them for life. This is in essence what we hope to promote through ‘Families for Life’ – to encourage families to spend more time together and strengthen family bonds. The Safari Zoo Run is an excellent event for families, and the Families for Life Council hopes to work with more like-minded partners to create opportunities for family bonding.” PHOTO CREDITS: PINK APPLE

A spirited crowd over 8000-strong, which included these enthusiastic children, participated in the Safari Zoo Run 2014, and ran amidst the lush greenery of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari as lions, rhinoceros and elephants, among other wild creatures, watched on. PHOTO CREDITS: PINK APPLE

A spirited crowd over 8000-strong, which included these enthusiastic children, participated in the Safari Zoo Run 2014, and ran amidst the lush greenery of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari as lions, rhinoceros and elephants, among other wild creatures, watched on. PHOTO CREDITS: PINK APPLE

LOVE IS IN THE AIR AS GROUND DOVES BOOST BREEDING PROGRAMME IN JURONG BIRD PARK

Leave a comment

- Ground doves, known for their faithfulness to their partners until death, hatched as a result of careful diet and husbandry planning; Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons among rare species.

A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park’s South East Asian Aviary. After a successful breeding programme, 10 progenies will be sent back to the Philippines this year to increase the wild population on Polillo Islands.

A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park’s South East Asian Aviary. After a successful breeding programme, 10 progenies will be sent back to the Philippines this year to increase the wild population on Polillo Islands.

Singapore, 13 February 2014 – With Valentine’s Day happening tomorrow, Jurong Bird Park is a-flutter with successful hatchings of ground dove pigeons, known for their faithfulness to their partners until death. Amongst them are Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons, both of which can only be found in the Philippines.

A Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk.

A Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk.

After a successful two-year breeding programme, Jurong Bird Park now has ten Luzon bleeding heart pigeon progenies ready to be sent back to the Philippines this year to be released to the wild on Polillo Islands. Luzon bleeding heart pigeons are a threatened species of bird, with declining numbers in the wild due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade.

The project is Jurong Bird Park’s first off-site conservation project involving an endemic species from the Philippines in the ASEAN region. Recognising Jurong Bird Park’s expertise in conservation and breeding, two pairs of Luzon bleeding heart pigeons arrived in the park two years ago as part of an agreement signed with Avilon Zoo (Philippines) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines. These birds started breeding from October 2012 and continued through January 2014 to produce 10 progenies.

All bleeding heart pigeons and golden heart doves are part of a group of Australasian pigeons known as ground doves, known to be very faithful to their partners until death. If one dies, the other will look for another to pair up with. Upon becoming parents, both males and females will take turns to incubate the eggs. For the first few days of a chick’s life, the chick is fed crop milk produced by both genders. Once the chick is older, both parents will forage for food for the young. Ground doves are very caring, often preening each other and their chicks. They will also sun bathe together, strengthening the bond communally.

“To have 10 Luzon bleeding heart pigeon progenies available for release over a short span of two years is a remarkable achievement. This project was initiated with the aim of contributing to the recovery of this species in its natural habitat, and we look forward to developing more conservation projects for other endemic Philippine species. The success and the knowledge gained paves the way for Jurong Bird Park to engage in other similar regional conservation projects.” said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Science Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

A pair of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons arrived in the Bird Park from San Diego Zoo in September 2013, as part of an exchange programme. Although this pair was not known to be prolific breeders, they adjusted well to their new home and that a few weeks after their arrival, they laid one fertile egg, which hatched after an 18-day incubation period. Another fertile egg was laid just before Christmas last year, which also yielded a chick.

A first-ever breeding of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk with a three month old chick.

A first-ever breeding of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk with a three month old chick.

A two-pronged scientific approach involving husbandry and diet was taken towards the successful breeding of the Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons. The Luzon bleeding heart pigeons were placed in an off-site aviary with minimal human contact, while a specialised diet with increased protein levels was provided for added nutrients during breeding season. Although the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons were placed in a visible public enclosure, the aviary was properly landscaped, which provided the birds with a heightened sense of security necessary for breeding. Similarly, they were also given a protein-rich diet during breeding season.

In addition to the successful hatchings, Jurong Bird Park will welcome two pairs of golden heart doves from Germany for breeding and conservation purposes. Endemic to Papua New Guinea, these birds are uncommon in institutions as it is a challenge obtaining birds from New Guinea due to governmental restrictions.

Come to Jurong Bird Park this February to see the Luzon bleeding heart pigeons at the South East Asian Exhibit, and the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons at Heliconia Walk. Two pairs of golden heart doves will be on display from April at Window on Paradise. For more information, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg

Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers