Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bali Mynah

Leucopsat rothchildi
Of all the animals that live on the Indonesian island of Bali, only one is endemic- today's animal, the Bali Mynah. This stunning white bird is a member of the Starling family, and is found on only one tiny portion of the already tiny island.

The Bali Mynah is actually a national emblem for Indonesia, and is the official bird of Bali. Unfortunately they are on the brink of extinction, and there may only be about a dozen left in the wild. Thankfully, legal exports and breeding programs have led to a captive population of around 1,000 birds.

So what happened to the Bali Mynah? Why are there so few? Two major issues- poaching and habitat loss. These already rare, striking birds have been illegally captured for the pet trade. They've also suffered severe encroachment into their small range.

Protected parks (with armed guards!) have been set up to protect the few wild birds left, and some of the captive born Mynahs are being reintroduced to their native range.

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered
Location : Bali, Indonesia
Size : Body Length up to 10in (26cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Sturnidae -- Genus : Leucopsar  -- Species : L. rothschildi

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