Bali Mynah Press Materials

Staving off the swan song for Bali Mynah 

Rare chicks, first for zoo in 12 years, offer beacon of hope for a species on the brink of extinction

(Chicago, Aug. 15, 2012) - The Bali mynah is one of the world’s rarest birds. Considered functionally extinct in the wild, in the early 1990s the population hovered at approximately 15 birds throughout its native range on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Today, a newly fledged clutch of three chicks at Lincoln Park Zoo offers a beacon of hope for the dwindling population.

According to Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds Colleen Lynch, “this is the first successful hatching and fledging of Bali mynah chicks at the zoo in 12 years. All told, the zoo has hatched 31 mynahs since 1972 and has been a national leader in the propagation and conservation of this critically endangered species.”

The greatest threat to the bird’s continued survival remains the unsustainable and illegal trapping of the mynahs for the worldwide cage-bird trade.  Over the past couple decades, wild population numbers have fluctuated drastically with the latest, most promising numbers estimating a maximum of 115 wild birds on Bali. There are an estimated 1,000 surviving in captivity.

While numerous conservation efforts are underway to introduce captive managed birds to the wild, until the black market trade of this species can be stemmed, the birds’ future survival remains tenuous. There are 53 accredited institutions within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums carefully managing and breeding this species as part of the Species Survival Plan with the goal of saving this species from extinction.

While the chicks are being housed in a non-public access enclosure, the adult birds of this very rare species can been seen daily in the open, free-flight exhibit at the zoo’s McCormick Bird House. 


Media Contacts

Sharon Dewar
(312) 742-2246                       


  Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791




Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit



Bali Mynah Chicks Quicktime Video Footage (96 MB .mov)

Click a thumbnail below for high resolution jpg.
Photo credit is Lincoln Park Zoo/Todd Rosenberg