Friday, January 20, 2006

Bali Starling Extinct in the Wild? Drat those bird markets.

Asia, Far East, news and analysis Times Online, The Times, Sunday Times

So the Bali starling is extinct in the wild, but there are, or were at one stage, three in the Curraghs Wildlife Park in the Isle of Mann (thanks for the picture). So, a Manx Bali Starling. Globalisation eh? It's a great article. Here are some tastes:

Birds are a national obsession in Indonesia and no home is complete without a caged song bird, the more exotic-looking the better. Fears over bird flu have spurred many families to open their cage doors in recent months to give their pets an unexpected taste of freedom.

Small armies of bird catchers using nets or birdlime trawl the islands of the archipelago snaring finches, larks and warblers to be sold in huge sprawling bird markets such as Jalan Pramuka, in Jakarta.

Migrating waterbirds from Siberia and China are trapped in their thousands in the marshes of Java to be fried and sold as roadside snacks.

Conservationists say that trapping wild birds for sale is a bigger threat than habitat loss to Indonesia’s 1,539 species, 17 per cent of all the birds recorded on the planet.


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