SINGAPORE – Visitors to the Jurong Bird Park can marvel and learn about some of Asia’s rarest birds, with the opening of a rejuvenated aviary. The Wings of Asia aviary was officially opened on Jan 21, 2015, Channel NewsAsia reported recently.
The 2,600 square-metre aviary was previously known as the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary but went through a three-month makeover that included an expansion of smaller aviaries within and updated educational displays.
With a collection of over 500 birds representing 135 species when complete, the 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.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages the Bird Park, said 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.