Cornwall’s top zoo has won a national award for an exhibit about the Asian songbird crisis. Newquay Zoo won Gold at the recent British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums (BIAZA) Annual Awards. The award, for the charity zoo’s Gems of the Jungle exhibit, recognised the development of a new mixed-species aviary to enhance management and breeding of species affected by the Southeast Asian caged bird trade.
Newquay Zoo spokesperson Vicki Sutcliffe said: “We’re very proud of Gems. It’s a free-flying bird exhibit where guests can immerse themselves in the Southeast Asian jungle. They can take a seat and watch the beautiful birds fly around them while learning about the plight of song birds in the wild. The exhibit is home to amazing species such as the blue crowned laughing thrush, the Luzon bleeding heart dove and the grosbeak starling.”
One of the most endangered songbirds in the world also lives in the exhibit. The Cornish charity zoo is one of only five collections in Europe where Javan green magpies can be seen, making them one the rarest species at the zoo. Native to Java, in Indonesia, the Javan green magpie maintains its vibrant green feathers through a diet rich in vitamins and pigments.
John Meek, Curator of Animals, is delighted with the award: “It’s a fantastic achievement, we’re thrilled that the aviary is a success, with birds already breeding in it. Being able to keep one of the rarest birds in the world, the Javan green magpie, is a tribute to the skill and patience of our keeping staff.” Newquay Zoo is a registered charity. For more information go to www.newquayzoo.org.uk or ring 01637 873342.