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Press Release: The Number of Bird Species Unique to Indonesia Increases

Bogor (31/05) – Indonesia’s natural richness has amazed us again. The number of bird species found in the country with the world's third largest tropical rainforest has increased this year. Burung Indonesia’s data indicated that in 2017 there were 1,769 bird species identified after previously recorded 1,672 species. This year the number increases by two, one of which is an endemic species of Indonesia, adding the number to 1,771 bird species in 2018.

Ria Saryanthi, Head of Communication & Institutional Development of Burung Indonesia, said, “The Rote Myzomela (Myzomela irianawidodoae), an endemic species to Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara region, has been described by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences on 2017. This bird belongs to the Meliphagidae family and is protected by Government Regulation No. 7 of 1999. The addition of this species increases the number of protected birds from 435 to 436 species.”

Baca: [Data Update] The Number of Bird Species Unique to Indonesia Increases

With this addition, the unique or endemic bird species from Indonesia that have been identified have increased to 513 species. The other newly-identified species is the Papuan Pitta (Erythropitta macklotii). Meanwhile, based on the World Conservation Agency's Red List (IUCN Red List), the status of globally endangered birds recorded in Indonesia has slightly changed.

There are three types of birds whose threat status is now increasing: the Aleutian Tern (Onychoprion aleuticus) from Least Concern/LC to Vulnerable/VU, the Bacan Myzomela (Myzomela batjanensis) from Near Threatened/NT to Vulnerable/VU, and Least Boobook (Ninox sumbaensis) from Near Threatened/NT to Endangered/EN.

These new discoveries should make us more concerned about the uniqueness of our natural richness. Like other animals, the number of bird species in Indonesia is expected to rise with more intensive research in the future.

“If Indonesia's nature, which is the habitat of birds, is continuously destroyed, there’s a possibility many bird species will become extinct before they are even found. I’m afraid our descendants can only get to know today's existing birds only from academic literature,” Ferry Hasudungan, the Biodiversity Conservation Specialist of Burung Indonesia, added.

A study released in the Journal of Nature Climate Change in 2014 predicted that in 2012 Indonesian suffered the loss of its 840.000 hectares primary forest. This number is the highest compared to other countries, even surpassing Brazil which lost 460,000 hectares of forest. It should be noted that the Brazilian Amazon Forest area is about four times the size of Indonesia's forests.

The existence of forests is closely related to the life and sustainability of various types of birds, because it is a place for birds to nest, live, shelter and reproduce. Damages in the forest will greatly affect the survival ability of the inhabiting birds.

The birds provide substantial environmental services to humans. Birds are the agents of controlling various types of pests, pollinating various plants, and also dispersing seeds which then grow into plants in forests and the wild. Therefore, the threat of bird populations can also worsen the quality of life of other animals and biodiversity in general.


For further information please contact:

Ferry Hasudungan
Biodiversity Conservation Specialist
Telp: 08127884852/081519406136