Methodology

  1. Locating and rescueing the birds:

a)

The BFRCC’s last Javan Eagles:  

Four young specimens have already been saved by the BFRCC to-date : one immature female and two males in their second year, and one juvenile in its first year. It is interesting to note that none of these specimens is mal-imprinted. The left elbow of the youngest male, broken, couldn’t be repaired in due time by lack of surgical equipment. All specimens are perfectly fit for breeding.

b) Further selection of rescue schemes:

Table below shows a first-hand evaluation of four practical methods:

Protocol

Comments

Suitable

1.      Hard-penned chicks collecting from nests

-         Provides excellently imprinted and healthy birds for breeding.

-         Disturbs parents in the wild.

-         Time-consuming and costly.

NO

2.      Adult birds

-         For pairs relocation only. Justified when a reclaim of forested area for agriculture can be known (rare!)

-         Otherwise an unacceptable source of depletion

NO

3.      Direct rescue of young branchers from local traders

-         Saves young birds already doomed to perish in the wild by lack of habitat and preys, then in fanciers’ hands by lack of appropriate cares.

-         Time and cost-effective.

-         Provides mishandled, stressed birds.

YES

4.      Same birds, after confiscation

-         As above but:

-         Less time and cost-effective (until now, it has not been possible to avoid persistent problems caused by Indonesian rangers’ expectations for recurring payments and by ethnic disagreements).

YES

   

It clearly appears that direct action on the last existing biotopes should not be recommended unless the need for an emergency relocation plan for a well-identified breeding pair could be known.

Instead, proper monitoring of local markets to rescue wandering branchers accidentally traded, is fully justified. Whether these birds are directly purchased from traders, or whether local rangers should confiscate them beforehand, is up to the sponsoring authorities at the Indonesian Department of Forestry level. Newly acquired birds always need rest and very attentive cares including:

1. proper water supply,

2. balanced food,

3. vaccination (ND, CRD)

4. preventive medication against parasites and protozoa.

 

They are then sent to the breeding site in Biak by the safest and quickest way, currently the Indonesian Airforce. The army proved to be totally co-operative and effective so far, whereas other channels are so slow that they become unsafe for the birds themselves.

2. Breeding guidelines

(details in November, 2000 Progress Report).

a) Rearing

Rearing lasts until the young birds reach sexual maturity at three or four years.

·          Food supply: Laboratory rats & mice, quails, pigeons and day-old-chicks as already produced by the BFRCC. Current set up allows an excellent variety, quality and hygiene level, and can easily be developed to meet the requirements of many additional birds.

·          Stamina: large birds, tethered or kept in aviaries, have to get regular exercise and must fly outdoors with their falconer. Training allows a very accurate monitoring of their fat reserve and muscle.

·          Health control: a basic microbiology and surgery set should be added beside the BFRCC’s current stock of medications and vaccines.

·          Molt:       Adapted molting pens are still needed.

·          Psychological development: a proper psychological environment is a basic requirement for breeding birds. A proper balance should be found between their need for intra-specific and inter-specific contacts with other birds, and their hunting behavior should be preserved to avoid aggressiveness.

 

b) Mating

At first sight of specific recognition, courtship behavior and favorable reception, pairs are gathered in breeding pens where proper bases for a nest have been prepared.

c) Breeding

According to the parents’ manners on the nest, eggs are naturally or artificially incubated, and chicks reared as to avoid mal-imprinting.

 


The BFRCC is reaching a triple goal:
  • education through information campaign and sound research
  • regional development through nature tourism and creation of new employment
  • conservation through its modern breeding program

A bright example of upright utilization of non-endangered, common Raptors being turned into a sound resource to develop a captive bred stock of other species now so dramatically threatened in the wild by human ignorance, habitat destruction and avian diseases!