I recently returned from Singapore and Indonesia – a trip almost wholly dedicated to planning our work on the Asian Songbird Crisis (Eaton et al. 2015). One of the main jobs was to get Tom Squires and Harry Marshall, our two new PhD students, up to speed with the conservation issues, and in tune with the Javan culture, environment and language. I was travelling with the guys, along with Nigel Collar, Ria Saryanthi (Yanthi) from Burung Indonesia, and Andrew Owen from Chester Zoo, the PhD sponsor/partner.
|The PASTY bird market in Yogyakarta (Photo: Harry Marshall)|
|Captive breeding of Bali Mynas is big business in Java and Bali (Photo: Stu)|
|Kicau Mania! - songbird contest in East Java (Photo: Harry Marshall)|
|The savannas of Baluran National Park in East Java are key to the survival of the Critically Endangered Grey-backed Myna (Photo: Harry Marshall)|
|Bali Myna in artificial nest hole at one of the release sites in Bali Bharat National Park (Photo: Tom Squires)|
|Many thanks to staff and students at University of Indonesia for making me and my ecology so welcome.|
After a talk to Masters and undergraduate students at University of Indonesia at Depok (hosted by Dr Nurul Wirnani), I spent the last four days of my trip on Sumatra. This is an island I have visited only once for a couple of days at Wai Kambas back in 1992. This time, I went to Gunung Kerinci and the Tapan Road within the Kerinci-Seblat National Park. The former can be frustratingly quiet and some of the endemics incredibly hard to see. Some know the site as the ‘Birder’s Graveyard’.
|Gunung Kerinci from Pak Subandi's homestay. The encroachment into the National Park and heavy trapping pressure are serious threats here (Photo: Stu)|