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    The road to recovery: conservation management for the critically endangered Bali myna shows signs of success

    Squires, Thomas M ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3159-7044, Kepakisan, Agus N K, Kusumanegara, Hery, Collar, Nigel J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9677-3611, Yuni, Luh P E K, Owen, Andrew, Nugroho, Andri, Sarmawi, Mas U, Nelson, S Sunny, Winarni, Nurul L ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6343-3805 and Marsden, Stuart J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0205-960X (2023) The road to recovery: conservation management for the critically endangered Bali myna shows signs of success. Oryx. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0030-6053

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    Abstract

    The Bali myna Leucopsar rothschildi has long suffered heavy trapping, leading to its near extinction in the wild and categorization as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Decades of conservation breeding, release of birds and post-release management at Bali Barat National Park have, until recently, failed to secure a viable wild population. However, over the past decade, population increases, expansion into new areas of the National Park and beyond, and successful breeding in both artificial and natural nest sites have occurred. These recent successes are associated with a change in approach by the National Park authority from concentrating efforts on the last refugium of the species (an area protected from trapping but with potentially suboptimal habitat) and towards the human-dominated landscapes around the main road through the National Park. Bali mynas tended to favour areas with extensive shorter grass cover and open canopies and to shun denser woodland. Anthropogenic landscapes such as farmland and plantations presumably mimic the original savannah habitat of the species, but nestbox provision has probably been crucial in these areas in the absence of natural cavities. A potential further factor in the increases in myna numbers and range has been a scheme involving local people in commercial breeding of the species, thereby reducing its market price, and working with communities to reduce trapping pressure. We encourage continuing operation of this management strategy inside the National Park and its further extension into adjacent tourist areas, which appear to have myna-friendly socio-ecological conditions.

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