Maleo bird protection in Indonesia


From Associated Press:

May 15, 3:26 AM EDT

Bizarre bird gets private beach in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A species of birds able to fly immediately after hatching from eggs buried beneath the tropical sand has just been given its own private beach in eastern Indonesia, a conservation group said Friday.

Maleos – chicken-sized birds with black helmet-like foreheads – number from 5,000 to 10,000 in the wild and can only be found on Sulawesi island. They rely on sun-baked sands or volcanically heated soil to incubate their eggs.

The U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society said it has teamed up with a local environmental group to purchase and protect a 36-acre (14-hectare) stretch of beach in northern Sulawesi that contains about 40 nests.

The environmental groups paid $12,500 for the beach-front property on remote Sulawesi, one of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands, to help preserve the threatened species.

“The protected area is already helping raise awareness about this bird,” said John Tasirin, WCS program coordinator on the island, adding that is especially significant because humans are the greatest threat to the maleo‘s survival.

Villagers often dig up the eggs and harvest them for food, he said.

The maleo, which has a blackish back, a pink stomach, yellow facial skin, a red-orange beak, lays gigantic eggs that are then buried in the sand or soil. The chicks hatch and climb from the ground able to fly and fend for themselves.

“The population of maleos are decreasing quite steadily,” Martin Fowlie of the Britain-based BirdLife International said of their new white-sand beach. “So any protection is going to be a good thing.”

Hear a maleo call here.

Research Reveals Genetic Secrets Underlying Remarkable Development of the Domestic Chicken: here.

4 thoughts on “Maleo bird protection in Indonesia

  1. Urgent! I am writing a story about a maleo nesting area in Sulawesi that has recently been threatened by an oil palm company. The forested area has already been mostly cleared. I badly need a photo of a maleo that i can use for the story- just one will do to show what the bird looks like. As I don’t have any funds to pay for a photo, and could not take any pictures while I was at the site, I was wondering whether anyone can ppoint me at a site where I can obtain one for free. I sahll of course give full phopto credits to the photographer, and send a copy of my story to anyone who is interested after it is published. can anyone help me please? Many thanks,
    Ron Lilley


  2. Pingback: Maleo birds, unique reproduction, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: New monitor lizard species discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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