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Jurong Bird Park Welcome Over 100 New Arrivals

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 29, 2020 2:30 pm

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Jurong bird park (JBP) has had a brilliant start to 2020 with the hatching of over 100 chicks in the park and at their Breeding and Research Centre where chicks are hand-raised to ensure their survival.

Over one-fifth of the new arrivals are threatened species.

Dr Luis Neves, Director of Zoology at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said “It is always an encouragement to know that our birds are thriving, and we are thrilled by our recent breeding successes, with many being firsts for JBP. WRS’ parks are part of a global network of zoos that play a pivotal role in maintaining genetically healthy populations of animal species. As the numbers in the wild dwindle, each hatchling holds great significance for conservation. Breeding them successfully under human care takes us one step closer to the eventual goal of repopulating wild habitats.”

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Some of the chicks are being raised by their parents but others are in need of a helping hand owing to their conservation value or to their parents being inexperienced.

At the Breeding and Research Centre dedicated keepers work to ensure the survival of the hand-raised birds. This involves feeding them up to seven times a day and weighing them to track their progress. Some chicks such as pigeons and small songbirds will only need care for 6-8 weeks but larger birds such as macaws can spend as much as 8 months at the centre.

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

“Hand-raising chicks can be challenging. They are delicate when young and have a demanding feeding schedule where they have to be fed up to seven times a day. But it is very rewarding to see the chicks grow and eventually fledge. It gives us even more fulfilment knowing that we have directly contributed to the continued survival of these threatened species”, said Mark Rusli, Junior Animal Care Officer, and hand rearer at JBP’s Breeding and Research Centre.

Once the chicks reach adulthood they are returned to the parks aviaries to join the other birds.

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Species hatched at the park and being cared for by staff include the three white cockatoos (also known as the umbrella cockatoo), three blue eyed cockatoos and two red fronted macaws. The red fronted macaws are the first of their kind hatched at the park in five years. All three species are considered endangered. Jurong Bird Park is one of only two zoos breeding the blue eyed cockatoo.

Staff are also looking after eight yellow-backed chattering lory chicks.

Out in the park a range of chicks are being cared for by their parents. This includes a black faced spoonbill and the first ever burrowing owl chick born at the park. Black faced spoonbills are the only spoonbill to be listed as endangered.

Finally a long-billed hornbill is being cared for by staff. It started life under the care of its parents but had some difficulty as it fledged in the outside aviary. Staff decided to bring it inside to finish growing up before it is returned to the aviary. This is the first ever western long-billed hornbill hatched at the park and carers are recording its growth to help develop best practice guidelines.

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Learn more about Jurong Bird Park on their website – Jurong Bird Park

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