Five species of birds find new home at Wings of Asia aviary

Five species of birds find new home at Wings of Asia aviary
The Vietnamese Pheasant, one of five species of birds that were moved to their new home Wings of Asia aviary in Jurong Bird Park last Monday, March 16.

Five species of birds, including one that is critically endangered, moved into their new home at Jurong Bird Park last month, after having been quarantined for about a month.

The birds, imported from a bird park in Portugal, were placed in the upgraded Wings of Asia aviary, which was reopened in January.

The new additions include the critically endangered Edwards' pheasant - found naturally only in Vietnam's rainforests. It was thought to be extinct in the wild until it was rediscovered in 1996.

The destruction of the bird's forest habitat - caused by logging, agricultural activities and defoliating chemicals used during the Vietnam War - caused its numbers to plunge. It is estimated that there are fewer than 1,000 left in the wild.

The other arrivals are the Vietnamese pheasant, the Cabot's tragopan pheasant, the pink-headed imperial pigeon and the Island imperial pigeon.

The Wings of Asia houses a collection of more than 500 birds across 135 species. Of these, 24 species are threatened.

The park plans to start a breeding programme for birds whose populations are declining rapidly in the wild because of habitat loss or trapping for the cage-bird trade.

In addition, it hopes to eventually introduce selected species back into the wild.

mellinjm@sph.com.sg


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