Project aims to highlight importance of avian conservation in Southeast Asia; Festivities include painting miniature birdhouses, arts and crafts, and ‘Birthday baby trail’
Image 1 [LEFT] A dedicated docent painting nest boxes which will be sent to Begawan Foundation and Cikananga Conservation Breeding Centre in Indonesia
Image 2 [RIGHT] These beautifully hand-painted nest boxes will be used by the endangered Bali Mynah and Black-winged Starling species in Indonesia
Singapore, 22 May 2016 – In celebration of its 45th anniversary, Jurong Bird Park has launched the ‘Home Tweet Home’ project which aims to highlight the importance of conservation for Southeast Asia bird species such as the critically endangered Bali Mynah and Black-winged Starling, among many others.
As a kick off, over 30 docents in Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) parks spent Sunday morning lovingly hand painting 45 nest boxes that will be used in conservation captive breeding programmes of two critically endangered bird species – the Bali Mynah and Black-winged Starling in their native Indonesia. In the month of June, guests to Jurong Bird Park can see some of the nest boxes and even try their hand at painting a miniature version for a small donation to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.
Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Around 45 Southeast Asian bird species are listed as critically endangered today, and the threats they face include habitat loss and poaching for the illegal pet trade among others. As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Jurong Bird Park, we remain committed to giving these threatened species a chance to survive into the future with our continued support of local and Southeast Asian bird conservation. We hope to raise awareness and engage our guests on the plight of these birds and for them to join us on our efforts to help these birds.”
The 45 birdhouses painted as part of the Home Tweet Home project will be sent to WRS’ regional conservation partners Begawan Foundation and Cikananga Conservation Breeding Centre.
Rejuvenated aviary houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of rare Asian birds;
Park welcomes 11 threatened species for conservation breeding
SINGAPORE, 21 January 2015 – Visitors to Jurong Bird Park can marvel at some of Asia’s rarest and most exotic birds with the unveiling of the Wings of Asia aviary today, in a ceremony officiated by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development.
With a collection of over 500 birds representing 135 species when complete, the rejuvenated aviary houses the largest diversity of birds in the park. It is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive and admired collections of Asian birds, including 24 threatened species such as the Bali mynah, Luzon bleeding-heart dove and black-winged starling. These species have been successfully hatched and raised as part of the park’s ongoing conservation breeding programmes.
Eleven of the 24 threatened species are new additions, with five being displayed for the first time in the park. These include the Javan green magpie, rufous-fronted laughingthrush and racquet-tailed parrot which are expected to arrive in the park soon. Plans are underway to kick-start a breeding programme for these birds whose numbers are declining rapidly in the wild due to habitat loss and degradation as well as excessive trapping for the cage-bird trade. Through conservation breeding, the park hopes to maintain and safeguard a sustainable population of these birds and eventually introduce selected species back into the wild, in their native lands.
Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Over the years, Jurong Bird Park has been actively involved in the conservation of Asia’s most precious birds, from boosting the numbers of threatened species to working with multiple agencies, to repopulating birds in their native habitats. The unveiling of Wings of Asia represents another feather in our conservation cap and we hope this crown jewel will inspire visitors to appreciate, understand and protect Asia’s winged wonders.”
Previously known as the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, the 2,600 square-meter exhibit underwent a three-month makeover which included the expansion of its smaller aviaries, theming work, refreshed educational displays for visitors to learn about the different species of birds, and an overhaul of its aviary mesh for better viewing.
Visitors can look forward to special experiences such as feeding and chit-chat sessions with keepers to learn more about the feathered residents.
First feathered residents move into soon-to-be-opened Wings of Asia aviary
SINGAPORE, 4 December 2014 – Four critically endangered Bali mynahs, whose numbers add up to fewer than 50 in the wild, were among the first feathered residents to move into the new Wings of Asia aviary at Jurong Bird Park.
The Bali mynah, or Bali starling, is found only in the Bali islands of Indonesia and can be identified through its clear white feathers, black-tipped wings and vivid blue skin around its eyes. The declining numbers are primarily attributable to unsustainable, illegal trapping for the pet trade and rapid habitat destruction.
To conserve the species, Jurong Bird Park has been working with the Bali-based Begawan Foundation on a breeding and exchange programme to boost the population and enhance the gene pool of Bali mynahs raised under human care.
In the next few weeks, over 300 feathered residents will be moved into their new homes. Visitors to Jurong Bird Park will soon get to marvel at Asia’s rarest and most exotic birds with the unveiling of the Wings of Asia aviary in late January 2015.
– Kids hone their skills in birding this June with multitude of holiday activities. Jurong Bird Park offers free admission for kids accompanied by a paying adult.
Singapore, 19 May 2014 – Enthrall young minds with the fascinating world of birds this June with Jurong Bird Park’s Be A Junior Birdwatcher programme.
Created with the aim of making learning journeys both fun and educational, Be A Junior Birdwatcher will take children through the Junior Birdwatcher Academy where they will hone their skills in birdwatching, go on a birding expedition, and experience feeding and up close encounters with birds!
What’s more, this holidays, the ‘Kids Come In Free’ promotion, entitles all kids to free admission* when accompanied by a paying adult. This offer will be available throughout the school holidays, and complements the host of egg-citing activities lined up for young ones.
1. Be a Junior Birdwatcher
Kids will love being a Junior Birdwatcher for the day. Armed with multiple tools such as a logbook and binoculars, young ones are sure to enjoy their journey as they document their observations.
Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only Time: 8.30am – 6.00pm
2. Junior Birdwatcher Academy
Young and aspiring visitors have a chance to be certified as a Junior Birdwatcher at Jurong Bird Park! All they have to do is to complete the tasks in the birdwatcher logbook, receive a stamp and they will be presented with a Junior Birdwatcher Certificate at the end of their mission.
Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only Time: 12.00pm – 4.00pm
3. The Curious Adventures of Rico
Everyone knows that the Kaka bird is extinct except Rico, a passionate birdwatcher, who believes that it still exists. No one has seen the Kaka bird since 1851. Based on his research, it was last ‘seen’ in a remote waterfall in Waterfall Aviary. His journey starts at the Penguin Coast where he looks for other bird watcher enthusiasts to join him on his search. Featuring a puppet show and tell, kids will assist Rico in identifying various bird species.
Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only Time: 1.30pm Venue:Waterfall Aviary Terrace 4. Let’s Go Birdwatching
Our veteran birdwatcher will bring junior birdwatchers on a hiking trail to Waterfall Aviary to start their journey and explain the types of birds found there and their favourite resting spots. This interactive session will allow kids to have fun while learning as they match the birds they have seen against their bird ID card. Junior birdwatchers who have matched their findings accordingly will win a prize!
5. Birds Go Wild!
One of the senior birdwatchers has found a special spot thriving with amazing birds. He will meet the young birdwatchers there and they will then get a first-hand experience in feeding and getting up close and personal with the birds.
Singapore, 25 September 2013 – Gather your kids, fly over to the Breeding and Research Centre (BRC) in Jurong Bird Park and indulge their senses at ‘Squawk to Children’s Day’, an engaging activity lined up for them this Children’s Day. Get up close and personal with beautiful macaws and cockatoos, while enthusiastic trainers impart avian knowledge to the little ones. Grab this exclusive opportunity to take a photograph with one of our cockatoos, and because it is Children’s Day, all participants will be rewarded with a Children’s Day gift from Jurong Bird Park!
Squawk to Children’s Day
Venue: Breeding and Research Centre (BRC); Junior Eggs-pert Room
Date: 4 – 5 October 2013
Time: 11.45am, 2.30pm and 4.30pm
Duration: 20 minutes
In this remarkably interactive session, trainers will showcase the differences between macaws and cockatoos, while explaining the remarkable attributes which make parrots extremely popular amongst kids and adults alike. Kids will get to observe these beautiful creatures up close too.
Another segment gives kids a rare glimpse into how birds are fed at the BRC by the Centre’s experts. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with our umbrella cockatoo, in an exclusive meet-and-greet session.
*Jurong Bird Park admission rates of $20.00(adult) and $13.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply.
Singapore, 8 August 2013 – Animals from Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park are showing off their patriotic side this 9 August, to commemorate Singapore’s 48th birthday. Join them as they celebrate national day.
Jurong Bird Park Highlights:
During this double celebration of Hari Raya and National Day, our feathered friends at Jurong Bird Park’s High Flyers Show are also joining in the festivities. On 8 August, Sassy the sulphur-crested cockatoo will fly in a mini ketupat to a volunteer, while the show presenter explains the significance of the ketupat with Hari Raya to guests.
From 9 – 11 August, Quincy the yellow-headed Amazon will serenade guests with his rendition of ‘Singapura,’ and Sassy will fly mini Singapore flags to two volunteers.
The High Flyers Show happens daily at 11am and 3pm.
JURONG BIRD PARK TEAMS UP WITH STUDENTS TO BUILD BIRDHOUSES TO ENCOURAGE NESTING
Singapore, 22 March 2011 – In conjunction with Earth Day 2011 and Jurong Bird Park’s 40th anniversary, the world’s largest bird park is working with students from Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School to build 40 bird houses. Some of the bird houses will be placed in the two schools, as well as in Jurong Bird Park’s African Waterfall Aviary and Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, and are a part of the Park’s ongoing efforts towards conservation and education.
These bird houses, also known as nest boxes, will advocate nesting of small birds such as love birds, starlings, magpie robins, fairy blue-birds, and white-rumped shamas at the aviaries. Such bird houses are presently provided in the aviaries to minimise aggression and competition for nesting sites when breeding season comes round. These bird houses have proven to be popular, with 80-90% of them utilised every season.
On 22 March, an avian keeper will teach and supervise students as they build and paint the bird houses at a day learning session. Held at the Bird Discovery Centre in the Bird Park, students will have the opportunity to learn more about the different species of birds, nature and habitats available at the park. Members of the public are also invited to visit the park a day after Earth Day on 23 April 2011, where the students will get a chance to engage visitors and assist them in building individual bird houses.
“Jurong Bird Park has evolved from a recreational park into a centre for bird life, with a strong focus on education and conservation. Education plays a pivotal role in the area of conservation and we believe it is crucial for all our guests to be aware of, and understand the importance of biodiversity. Through this, we hope this will inspire our guests, even the very young, to develop a passion for bird life,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
She added, “Bird houses are considered scientific tools when used properly since a great deal of learning can be done by observing birds in them. A good example is the bird house we designed for the Oriental pied hornbill project which led to a successful nationwide re-introduction programme. Bird houses also play an important role in the conservation of birds in heavily populated urban areas like Singapore where very few natural nesting places are found. Birds have different physical and behavioral needs, thus there is not one bird house that is suitable to all. The types of birds that will nest on a garden, yard or property are largely determined by the habitat. As such, a mixture of habitats may attract a greater number of birds back to Singapore. I hope more schools and organisations will come forward to build more bird houses to revive bird life in Singapore.”
As part of this project, Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School will be placing three and five bird houses respectively, on their school compound. These bird houses are targeted to provide a habitat for magpie robins to nest.
“Getting our students to be involved in the bird house project is a small but important step in bringing them closer to nature and especially in caring for our feathered friends. This project will certainly get the students to think about creative ways in making bird houses, and we look forward to their excitement when the schoolyard evolves from a simple garden to a sensorial environment where students can actually get closer to bird life,” said Mrs Chew Lai Mun, Principal, Greenridge Primary School.
Bird houses that will be placed in the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary are painted in earth tones such as khaki green, brown and black, with illustrations of rainforest elements. Although non¬toxic paint is used, bird houses are not painted for the African Waterfall Aviary due to the differences in behavioural characteristics of the birds. Birds in the African Waterfall Aviary have strong beaks, and there is the possibility of them nibbling and scraping off the paint, while their counterparts in the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary have soft bills, which minimise that possibility.
AREAS FOR CONSIDERATION: NATIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION FOCUSING ON BIRDLIFE AND OTHER ANIMALS IN DANGER, AND IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON CONSERVATION
Singapore, 10 December 2009 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF) announces that it is now accepting grant applications for project proposals from interested parties working toward conserving endangered native wildlife. The grant applications will be for conservation and related research work on birds, native wildlife in danger and impact of climate change on conservation, in Singapore.
“As a conservation fund with the objective to sustain endangered native wildlife and ecosystems, we encourage like-minded individuals or organisations to come forward and submit their proposed scope of study of wildlife that are unique to our nation. From these efforts and studies, we hope to make concrete progress on the conservation front and to raise public awareness of native species,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
WRSCF is designed to provide accessible and flexible grants for persons who want to contribute to the conservation of native wildlife species. To be eligible, the scope of study needs to include at least one of these elements: conservation-related scientific research, direct field conservation work, education and public awareness, human-animal conflict resolution or capacity building and the sharing of best practices.
Thus far, National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Ah Meng Memorial Conservation Fund is the first grant recipient of $500,000 over a five-year period. The amount will support NUS students and faculty members conducting academic research and studies pertaining to endangered wildlife.
WRSCF grant applications will be reviewed by the Specialist Panel comprising scientists, academics and representatives from government agencies such as National Parks Board (NParks), Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), National Institute of Education (NIE), NUS, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) and Nature Society of Singapore (NSS).
With the establishment of WRSCF, parties keen to embark on projects contributing to the conservation of native endangered wildlife will have a financial avenue to support their cause. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from http://www.wrscf.org.sg.