Jurong Bird Park first in world to breed endangered Solomon Islands ground-doves

Jurong Bird Park first in world to breed endangered Solomon Islands ground-doves

A father Santa Cruz ground dove with its chick - Jurong Bird Park 2
A male Santa Cruz ground-dove with its chick. (Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

SINGAPORE: Jurong Bird Park has welcomed four Santa Cruz ground-dove chicks in the past few weeks, marking a world first for the endangered species.

This is the first time that such doves have been successfully bred under human care by a zoological institution, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) - which manages the park - announced in a press release on Wednesday (Jan 23).

The first of the chicks hatched on Dec 31 last year.

First SCGD chick on 31 Dec 2018 - Jurong Bird Park 3
The first of the Santa Cruz ground-dove chicks hatched on Dec 31, 2018. (Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

The chicks are the offspring of a group of endangered ground-doves that were rescued from Solomon Islands last August and brought to Singapore.

Sixty endangered Santa Cruz ground-doves - probably half of the world's wild population according to WRS - were "rescued from the clutch of poachers and erupting volcanoes" to form the world's only assurance colony of such doves in Jurong Bird Park, said WRS.

An assurance colony is a group of threatened animals in captivity.

"The goal is to ultimately re-populate their homeland when circumstances allow," said WRS.

First SCGD chick two weeks after - Jurong Bird Park 1
For the first time in the world, Santa Cruz ground-doves have been bred under human care. (Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

Meanwhile, the park has also seen similar success with the critically endangered straw-headed bulbul, one of the most heavily-traded songbirds in Southeast Asia.

It is believed that this species is extinct in half of their range states within Southeast Asia, according to WRS. With just over 200 individuals remaining in the wild according to the local nature community, Singapore is likely the only stronghold of this species, WRS said.

SHB chick doing yoga - Jurong Bird Park 4
A straw-headed bulbul chick having a stretch at Jurong Bird Park's breeding and research centre. (Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

Over the past two years, Jurong Bird Park has bred four straw-headed bulbuls, with the last chick arriving in July last year.

Both the straw-headed bulbuls and the Santa Cruz ground-doves can be seen at the park's Wings of Asia exhibit.

Straw-headed bulbul chick almost fledgling
A straw-headed bulbul chick that is nearly a fledgling, which is when they gain their first flight feathers. (Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

Source: CNA/nc(hm)