- 13 September 2018
Nusa Penida is a unique island-wide bird sanctuary. It is unique in that Nusa Penida is a populated island where all of the island's communities have used traditional Balinese village regulations to create a sanctuary for birds. The idea of converting Nusa Penida (and its sister islands of Lembongan and Ceningan) into a bird sanctuary came from Drh I. Gede Nyoman Bayu Wirayudha (veterinarian) and his Indonesian NGO, Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF), who envisioned the islands to be a natural safe haven where endangered birds could be released to rebuild their numbers, free from the threat of poachers.
FNPF spent 2 years counselling all of the key people of influence on the Penida islands on the benefits of protecting birds and conservation. In 2006 all 35 villages (now 41 villages) unanimously agreed to make bird protection part of their traditional regulations (“awig-awig”), making it a social and spiritual obligation for all Penida residents to protect birds. Since then, FNPF has rehabilitated and released various Indonesian birds, most notably the critically endangered Bali Starling which is endemic to Bali but whose numbers in the wild had declined to less than 10 in 2005.
After a 2 year program by FNPF in which 64 cage bred birds were rehabilitated and released onto Nusa Penida, their number had increased to over 100 in 2009. Other released birds include Java Sparrow, Mitchell's Lorikeet and Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. In return for this unanimous commitment by all villages to protect birds, FNPF runs a variety of community wellbeing / development projects. FNPF's office, visitor centre, nursery and guest accommodation is located in the village of Ped, on the north side of Nusa Penida.