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A new aviary for rare and endangered birds has opened at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
The specially built aviary, which covers almost 90 square metres, is just a short walk from the old Monkey Temple and features birds from the Philippines and other countries in South-East Asia.
They include eye-catching Luzon bleeding-heart doves, Bali starlings, Palawan peacock pheasants and pied imperial pigeons.
The new aviary, which cost £50,000, has been in the planning since last summer and has been stocked with hundreds of plants to reflect the birds’ natural habitat.
In the wild many of these birds are struggling mainly because of deforestation which has robbed them of their natural habitat.
Trevor Franks, curator of birds at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “I’m thrilled with this new aviary and it will provide lots of opportunities for breeding in the future as well as showcasing our amazing collection of birds.”
The new aviary has four individual sections and includes ultra violet lights that help to keep the birds in the best possible condition during the winter months.
Trevor said: “It really is a 21st century aviary, fully equipped with everything we need in place from the start.”
The new aviary provides a tangible link with Bristol Zoological Society’s conservation work in the Philippines.
Bristol Zoological Society has been working in the Philippines since 2000 and is conducting island-wide surveys of mammals and birds on the islands of Negros and Panay.
The presence of researchers helps discourage illegal hunting in the area as well as generating additional income for local people.
Bristol Zoological Society is also supporting future conservation work being carried out by its partner organisation in the Philippines, Panaycon.
The Philippines are home to more than 20,000 endemic species of plants and animals. However, 95 per cent of the country’s forests have already been cut down, mainly to grow crops.
Bristol Zoological Society is working to protect a host of endangered species and the habitats they live in and carrying out vital research into the animals that live there under a project sponsored by Airbus.
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