The Jurong Bird Park in Singapore officially opened Asia’s biggest aviary, dedicated to rare and endangered birds, on January 21.

The 2,600 square metre aviary will house more than 500 birds from 135 species including 24 endangered breeds, such as the Bali starling and the Luzon bleeding heart dove, raised under the park’s conservation breeding programme. Notably, there are also five additional species on display for the first time; among them are the Javan green magpie, rufous-fronted laughingthrush, and racquet-tailed parrot.

Plans are also underway to kick-start a breeding programme for the wild birds whose numbers have been rapidly declining, Chairwoman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore Caire Chiang said.

The programme is expected to help protect and repopulate these birds in their native habitats, she added.

The entire Jurong Bird Park complex, spanning 20.2 hectares, is home to over 5,000 birds from 400 species. Renowned as the world’s largest bird reserve, the park has drawn millions of visitors since it first opened in 1971.-VNA