Rejuvenated aviary houses collections of rare Asian birds plus 11 threatened species
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 in a ceremony officiated by Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development of Singapore.
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 now also houses one of the world’s most comprehensive and admired collections of Asian birds including 24 threatened species like 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 programs.
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 laughing thrush and racquet-tailed parrot, which are expected to arrive in the park soon.
Plans are underway to kick-start a breeding program 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.
Claire Chiang, chairman of 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.
Finally, visitors can also look forward to special experiences like feeding and chit-chat sessions with keepers to learn more about the feathered residents.