A Raggiana Bird of Paradise chick is thought to be the first offspring born in captivity to two Raggiana Bird of Paradise at Port Moresby Nature Park. The first in 20 years that the Raggiana Bird of Paradise has been bred in captivity in Papua New Guinea.
This is a significant achievement for Port Moresby Nature Park and Papua New Guinea, as this is the National animal for PNG. The success comes as part of the ongoing breeding program which has been a focus of the Nature Park to breed this species for a number of years.
With the completion of the Plumes of Paradise precinct in 2018, displaying eight Bird of Paradise species, the Park has been focusing on breeding the majority of these species. Each year, the Park has been getting closer and closer to achieving its goal of breeding the Raggiana Bird of Paradise.
In early June this year (which is the breeding season), the male Raggiana Bird of Paradise was seen displaying and showing off his beautiful plumage to the female. She took a lot of interest in him and shortly after, the female started constructing a nest and incubating a single egg. After 15 days, the female Raggiana Bird of Paradise started catching insects and taking the food back to the nest, this could only mean one thing; she was feeding her baby!
This is the first time in 20 years that the Raggiana Bird of Paradise has been bred in captivity in Papua New Guinea. This is a significant achievement for Port Moresby Nature Park and Papua New Guinea, as this is the National animal for PNG.
Curator Brett 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 and to breed and raise these beautiful birds of paradise.
The Port Moresby Nature Park is 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.