Agus Lenyot

Waiting Growth of the Lost Bird

Posted in Kontemplasi by Wayan Agus Purnomo on September 26, 2011

Population of Jalak Bali in native habitat more and more decreases. People are encouraged to be genuine of Bali bird breeder.

Cikal’s birth in its motherland could not last happily. It failed to adapt with its new environments. Almost every hour Cikal supplied by nutrition but it seems not to be the only way to preserve Cikal. It could struggle for only one month. Being born at 26th of July 2011, Cikal died at 25th of August 2011. It has been a hope for breeders in Sumberklampok Village, Buleleng Regency

This is a story of Bird Breeding carried out by 12 Breeders at Sumberklampok. Sumberklampok is a village, situated 14o kilometers from Dps, bordered by native habitat of Jalak Bali, West National Park (Taman Nasional Bali Barat). Administratively, it is part of Buleleng Regecy, but geographically it is closer to Jembrana Regency and is only 12 kilometer distance off Gilimanuk Harbour.

Jalak Bali breeding has been started since Nov 2010. The people, who are member of Manuk Jegeg, being helped by Seka Organization, revealed an initiative to develop breeding. Words Manuk Jegeg derives from word Manuk means bird and Jegeg means beautiful. Meanwhile Seka is an organization with environments as its focus.

A pairs of Jalak Bali in the cage

“We got the breeding permission license fast, only 3 months waiting,” said Istiyarto, one of Seka Organization committee. He lobbied two stakeholders, villagers and TNBB to make the breeding run successfully. “Maybe there was community empowerment made this process easier,” Ismu said

Soon, TNBB formed Tim Sembilan, consisting of some Forest Polices. This team’s job desk is to examine the breeding process by villagers. Jalak Bali will be supplied by Curik Bali Conservation Association (Asosiasi Pelestari Curik Bali/APCB) and Indonesian Safari Marine Park. The system being applied is that the breeders are allowed to borrow Jalak Bali for years with a cow as guarantee. After 2 years, the breeder supposed to return the parent and a pairs of child.

Permission breeding license from Natural Resource Conservation Agencies was finally issued on March 14th 2011. It is quicker than other breeders. For example, Mario Blanco, Breeder in Ubud, spent 4 years just to get the permission license.

Since there were plan to create a breeding, people start the preparation. Several terms were defined before the bird was handed over. Such as, the breeders must ready with their cage. For each cage, breeders prepare cash which was ranging from Rp 5 million until Rp 6 million. The cage sized variously. In average, cage’s size was 20 square meters. Inside of the cage, breeders provide ‘home’ for Jalak Bali to incubate its egg. “The cost was not cheap for us,” Misnawi said, Manuk Jegeg Coordinator.

He looked there was good chance in this breeding. Some villagers were though when being offered as breeders. Six people resigned as breeder candidate. Every breeders spent money ranging from Rp 300.000 until Rp 500.000 to provide nutrition only. Finally, vilagers received this offered because they wanted to get involve in Jalak Bali conservation. Besides, it looked economically profitable.
After waiting for some months, the star came at 28th Mei 2011. 30 pairs of Jalak Bali were brought from Indonesia Safari Park and Surabaya Zoo Park. Their arrival was greeted and guarded heavily. Bali’s Governor, Made Mangku Pastika attended to watch this hand over. “It is like waiting the lost boy come back to ancestral,” Ismu remembered.

After three months, breeding process was not run without any problems. Every breeder just got a pair of starling, while Seka Organization got three pairs. At the first, breeders thought they will get 4 pairs. Turns out they only got one pair. These quantities didn’t match with their expectation. Sadly, there were some birds haven’t incubated eggs yet. “I was very disappointed because I have invested much money,” Misnawi said.

Not only Misnawi , the other breeders felt the same. Abdulkadi was the other one. He questioned why TNBB just shared 15 pairs to breeders. While there are 15 pairs remained being kept by TNBB and have not been distributed yet. He pointed TNBB still did not believe the breeders.
As information, he prepared bird feeds for 4 pairs. It’s like insects, bananas, chemical food and papayas which need high cost for him. Maintaining one pair was the same as maintaining four pairs. “In fact, the bird that I received just one pair,” he said.

Abdulkadi said that the relation between Sumberklampok villagers and TNBB was not always well. As neighbors, there were often conflicts occur between them such as timber and animal theft. This breeding process was like honeymoon after having conflict for long years. Keeping the bird potentially damaged this good relationship. “Whereas TNBB only a facilitator,” pointing Abdulkadi.

Abdulkadi is an ex -bird hunter. He has been hunting since 1974 after early 1980. His stories have heard by forest police and become common for the rangers. “I admit if I have been a criminal,” he said. But the theft that he did wasn’t without any reason. He love animal especially jalak bali. He hope when preserving this bird he can show to his grandchildren in the future. He knows that this bird population is getting disappear. “I have a dream to make my village as tourism,” he explained.

When being offered to be a breeder he looked cynical. His experiences made him unable to believe that institution fully. But the persistence of Seka Organization as mediator melts his heart successfully.
So, what is Jalak Bali that been a star like? Jalak Bali or Curik Bali or Jalak Putih is one of rare animal based on Government Regulation Number 7 of 1999. It found for very first by Dr. Baron Stressmann. This ornithologist from Britain found it when The Ship of Expedition Malakau II stranded in Bubunan, located 30 kilometers from Gilimanuk on 24th March 1911. But the Latin name came from Walter Rothschildi whom introduced this bird to sciences.

Fourteen years later Dr Baron Victor van Plessenn found that the spread of Curik was from Bubunan until Gilimanuk. The numbers was hundreds and clustered. In 1928 five birds brought to England for breeding. Now the spread of Curik bordered around Prapat Agung Peninsula, Brumbun Peninsula and Dark Peninsula Pahlengkong. Curik has white feather. There is some black color in the tail and wing. Its eyes color is old brown and around it there is old blue color. This combination make that bird is so awesome.

In 1966 based on International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Curik was categorized the endangered animal in the red data book. While in the Convention on International Trade in Endegered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, Curik was included in the Appendix I that forbidden to be commercialized. The protection for Curik was firstly issued by Minister of Agriculture in 1970 in Indonesia. Based on TNBB’s Data the number of native birds is 20-25 pairs. Among of them is come from breeding.

The protection to these birds unfortunately makes the hunting increase. On the market, the price of a pair could be ranging from Rp 15 million until Rp 25 million. However if we buy illegally, the price could be cheaper.

There are five factors that affect the population of these birds. These factors are water resources, vegetation, predators, competitors, and location of nest. Curik that come from breeding process have less endurance than the native bird.

Ismu said that Curik has bright colors and slow movement ability. The bright white color and low mobilization become the major factor why the predator chooses these birds. Hawk is the main predator. “Although it is agile, this bird can’t move too far,” Ismu said.

After hearing and analyzing the prospect and the possibility, the villagers finally agreed to be breeders. BKSDA’s data claimed there are 25 Curik breeders in Bali. Almost half of them are in Sumberklampok. The permission license is valid until 5 years.

In some breeders, include Abdulkadi, these birds directly become productive. In three months he succeeded to incubate three eggs from his bird. Although one of them has defected in its foot and can’t live. “We learn from experiences,” he said.

To avoid the bird death, he hands the maintenance over Seka Organization. Now, the child of bird was placed in incubator before make a cage for it. Ismu takes care of the birds with strictly maintenance. “Almost every hour I give varieties nutrition,” Ismu said.

Rahabid, the other breeder has a funny story. He says Curik is sensitive with the people. “I don’t change my clothes until 20 days,” he laughed. Besides, every morning he practices communication with them. These approaches make all of bird that he raised born successfully. He maintained 4 pairs include three pairs of Seka Organization. Abdulkadi compare his maintenance with the bird that being kept by TNBB. So far no birds succeeded the egg incubation yet. “Whereas our bird incubates successfully,” he said sarcastically.

Nana Rukmana, Head of Population Development TNBB says the other fact about bird distribution. TNBB will evaluate this program every six months. Nana explained that if the breeders succeeded to breed these birds, there will increase the number of the bird distribution. “This program is still 3 months,” he said.

He said based on agreement every breeder get a pair in first step. The villagers have agreed with it. He recognized that there are some people want more than a pair. “But we need to evaluate whether the breeder is success or not,” he said.

Mario Blanco, a breeder in Ubud supports this program by villagers. The son of Antonio Blanco said Curik has to be socialized. He has been a breeder since six years ago although the permission license was issued four years later. Now, Mario is just one people that has the permission to trade in Bali. This permission is important because it is a legal basic when we want to breed this bird. Besides, sometimes he gives this bird for his colleagues.

Mario has 40 pairs of bird. He gets the cheaper from his colleagues in Bandung. In that time, no people brave to preserve this bird. “I’ve got raid by officers. All of my bird was confiscated but all of them put here. Maybe because the cost of the maintenance is expensive,” laughed Mario. Museum Blanco is one of the locations for breeders to learn about breeding process.

Mario hopes this breeding can increase the population of this bird. But he suggested the government more concern in regulation about the price of this bird. He says that although not as rare animal, people and collector must give more appreciation. “I mean we have to standardize for the price of this bird,” he explained.

The same hope also said by some breeders in Sumberklampok. “Not only getting involved in its conservation we also want its economy impact,” Misnawi said.

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