RIVER SAFARI WILL BE HOME TO THE ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK

Singapore, 3 August 2011Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) received eight stunning birds from Peru as part of a continuing partnership with the Republic of Peru through the Embassy of Peru in Singapore. This gift bears much significance as the species, the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, is the country’s national bird.

The species Rupicola peruviana is a medium sized bird and is native to the Andean cloud forests in South America such as Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Considered to be one of the most spectacular birds in the world, the male is differentiated by its large disk-like crest and brilliant orange plumage.

WRS, which operates award winning wildlife parks, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, has a long standing relationship with the Embassy of Peru in Singapore, which began in 2002 when both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote cultural and biodiversity exchange.

“WRS is privileged to have received these spectacular birds, with the kind assistance of the Embassy of Peru, that was instrumental in facilitating the necessary approval processes. Peru is home to one of the largest rainforests in the world with a rich biological diversity. By bringing species native to Peru into Singapore, we hope to share the beauty of the ecosystem and educate visitors on the importance of wildlife conservation through these animals,” said Mr Biswajit Guha, Director, Zoology, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“Peru is home to over 1,800 species of birds, the second highest in the world. The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is Peru’s national bird and a representation of our country’s unique heritage. Through this exchange, we hope to introduce Singaporeans and other visitors to our rich and diverse wildlife as well as the importance of preserving our natural history,” said H.E. Armando Raúl Patiño Alvistur, Ambassador of Peru to Singapore.

Despite their striking appearance, these birds are difficult to spot in the wild as they are extremely shy and wary of their surroundings, preferring to stay in the trees to feed on fruits. This elusive forest inhabitant has an unusual mating ritual, which has become a highlight for tourists visiting Peru. Throughout the year, the males practice an elaborate dance to attract females to mate with. The dance is performed at a ‘lek’, a communal display area used by animals during courtship.

The birds are currently under quarantine at Jurong Bird Park and will eventually reside at the River Safari, WRS’ upcoming attraction slated to open in 2012. The birds will remain in their permanent habitat at River Safari’s Amazon River region, in a rainforest setting reminiscent of their Amazonian jungle home.

A Male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

A Female Andean Cock-of-the-Rock