The magnificent riflebird is now a month old and has sparked excitement and renewed passion within the Nature Park’s Wildlife Department. The riflebird chick spent the first weeks of its life with another chick, a rescued pheasant coucal which was found on the ground and surrendered to the park by a member of the public.
Both chicks were housed together to keep each other company while being cared for by Nature Park’s curator, Brett Smith. The riflebird and pheasant coucal have now fledged and are self-feeding and flying.
Smith said: “The Nature Park has had prior success in breeding other species of bird of paradise. The more we learn from their behaviour and needs, the better we can get at caring for and breeding them.
“With current trends in the harvesting of birds of paradise for feather use in headdresses, the population in the wild are not sustainable and we could lose some of the species that are heavily targeted for their spectacular plumage,” he added.
Through breeding programs led by the park’s qualified and dedicated wildlife team, the hope is to ensure their survival for future generations.
The Port Moresby Nature Park is an international welfare accredited zoo through the Zoo & Aquarium Association of Australasia and is heavily committed to conservation and education, research and most importantly, dedicated to protecting PNG’s wildlife.