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Extinct bird species reappears on NTU campus

29 Mar 2018

The Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus), a bird species once native to Singapore, now thought to be extinct in the wild, has reappeared on the NTU campus. A nesting couple with two chicks have built their nest on a potted plant on Professor Benjamin Horton’s staff housing balcony. They appear to be doing well. Professor Horton is a new appointment to the Asian School of the environment and said “what a wonderful welcome to NTU and Singapore to have such rare birds nesting on my balcony”
 
This beautiful yellow songbird is highly sought after in the bird trade and, according to the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network TRAFFIC (http://www.traffic.org/home/2017/2/18/new-study-of-singapores-bird-markets-highlights-dangers-of-o.html), trapping for trade is the main reason for it’s eradication from Singapore. The White-eye is still trapped in Malaysia and Indonesia and sold in Singaporean bird markets. Let’s hope that this nesting pair and two chicks escape trapping and become the start of a recovery of this beautiful-looking species in Singapore.