The Beautiful And Critically Endangered Balister

The balister is a beautiful bird with striking properties. Unfortunately, the number of wild birds has decreased alarmingly. Read more about the threatened balister here.
The beautiful and critically endangered balista

The Balista ( Leucopsar rothschildi ) is a fascinating and sensitive bird. Unfortunately, it is in critical danger. Since 1995, the wild population has experienced a continuous decline. Today, experts estimate that there are fewer than 100 adult individuals left in the wild. In the 1980s, illegal trade led to the extinction of this species. But several organizations have promoted breeding programs in captivity so that this amazing bird does not disappear from the face of the earth. If you want to know more about the threatened balister, read today’s article.

The ballist’s physical characteristics

The balister is a bird from the order Passeriformes. This order also contains sparrows and songbirds, and it is the largest bird order in the world. This animal comes from Bali (Indonesia). It is actually the only endemic vertebrate in the entire region.

Below we will address some of the most striking features of the beautiful and endangered balister:

  • It is a medium-sized bird with a total length of about 25 centimeters.
  • It is almost completely white and has blue, bare skin around the eyes and on the legs.
  • This species has a striking, hanging plumage that it can stand upright to communicate with other specimens.
  • This bird is omnivorous, which means that it eats fruit, seeds, insects and worms.
the threatened balister keeps his head tilted

The critically endangered ballist

Unfortunately, the most striking thing about this bird is how close the species is to becoming extinct. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this species is on the list of critically endangered animals, as there are fewer than 100 adults left in the wild. This bird is on the verge of extinction for four main reasons:

  1. First and foremost due to the alarmingly low population size.
  2. Its distribution is limited to a very small area in Bali.
  3. Illegal hunting, as trade on the black market has led to the species almost disappearing in the 80s. In 1990, there were only about 12-18 specimens left in the wild.
  4. A reduction in their potential habitat due to climate change and human activities.

Illegal trade is the easiest reason to solve. For this reason, the balister is included in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

This means that this type of trading is completely prohibited. In addition to this, it is also forbidden to keep ballists in captivity if you do not have permission to breed them and you can show a legally supported breeding intention.

A glimmer of hope for the threatened ballist

This is not just bad news, as experts estimate that there are about 700-1000 specimens of ballistines in captivity today. Despite this, the real challenge is to make them survive successfully free in their natural habitat.

Several foundations have organized conservation programs for this species. In addition, many ornithologists and biologists have become aware of the situation of this bird, and they have been actively involved in the movement.

For example , the Begawan Foundation released a number of specimens in the wild in 2014. This event attracted media attention when the famous primatologist, Jane Goodall, participated in the release of two birds.

Although these symbolic actions create hope for the ballist’s future, there is still much work to be done. Experts estimate, for example, that twice as many captive-born specimens are sold on the black market than are found in nature reserves.

As long as there is no widespread awareness of this unsustainable situation for this animal, the species will continue to be endangered.

threatened the ballist in captivity

An uncertain future

In short, the situation for the ballist is very precarious. Although experts estimate that there are about 1,000 specimens bred in captivity, the wild population continues to decline and illegal trade continues to this day.

Unfortunately, the balister is a typical example of a species that illegal trade has affected to the point of extinction. The government and relevant organizations must act swiftly to prevent this from happening. In addition, each of us must make sure that our pet is raised in captivity – without exception.

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