IWMC World Conservation Trust - 2nd Symposium on Sustainable Use of Wildlife Resources

IWMC - World Conservation Trust


2nd Symposium
Journal of
Sustainable Use


Table of Contents

I Ceremonial
II Terrestrial
III  Aquatic Resources
IV Issues of Relevance

Sustainable Utilization of Avian Species
through Captive Breeding

Ms. Meriden Maranan
Chief, Wildlife Regulation Section of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau,
Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Captive breeding of wildlife is recognized and encouraged in the Philippines both for conservation and sustainable utilization. For the latter, a quota system was adopted for the collection of breeding stock but allowing only the trade of accredited progenies. This has so far reduced pressure on the wild population brought about by rampant collection of wildlife intended directly for trade.

A successful bird breeding initiative in the country is Birds International, Inc. Avicultural Park and Research Centre (BII). Established in 1973, this breeding farm for local and exotic parrots is accredited by the Philippine Government through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the CITES Management Authority for Terrestrial Species in the Philippines. BII aims to indefinitely sustain the survival of rare and endangered bird species through captive breeding and help the conservation efforts of the government by making these species available through legal means thus preventing bird poaching and smuggling. It has successfully bred 166 species and subspecies of parrots out of the world's 787 species and subspecies. Of these, 211 are listed under Appendix I of the CITES including that considered to be the world's most endangered bird almost nearing extinction, the Spix's Macaw. Efforts to reintroduce this species to the wild is being done by BII in cooperation with the Spix's Macaw Recovery Foundation. The remaining 145 species are listed under CITES Appendix II.

Covering a six-hectare area, BII houses a total of 7,300 birds plus a total of 985 breeding pairs and 673 bonded pairs. These species have been produced to the first and second generations and some up to the fourth generation. Average production is 2,500 birds a year, increasing annually by 20 percent. The facilities in the centre are maintained at the highest standards to ensure the best possible care for the birds. Fresh fruits and vegetables including food from the wild and food supplements from abroad to meet the exact nutritional requirements of the species make up its daily diet. Strict protocol and procedures are observed from the daily cleaning of birdcages to regular disinfecting of facilities. The centre provides for an environment simulating the natural habitat to ensure normal growth and improved breeding performance for rare birds, which are potential breeders. These rare breeders maintain minimal human contact unlike those designated for the pet market. Large conditioning facilities allow the species to interact socially with their own kind.

The breeding operation is coupled with intensive research and networks with aviculturists from around the world to keep up with the latest development in aviculture. Cognizant of the responsibility to ensure survival of the various species of rare birds, the integrated research and breeding centre is staffed by highly-trained experts and college-educated technicians.

BII serves the needs of aviculturists, avian collectors, zoos and hobbyists from North and South America, Europe and Asia. Prospective clients are carefully screened in terms of their facility, expertise and dedication to ensure that the goals of animal welfare, conservation and protection are achieved.

The experience at BII is a remarkable example of coexistence between man and nature. In a world where mankind has often been conceived as enemies of nature, bird farming in the Philippines through BII has proven that man can still provide a perfect sanctuary for our endangered avifauna.


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