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Mehd Halaouate

WPT Indonesian Project Manager

Mehd has been fascinated with birds since a very early age when still living with his family in Morocco. He has been a member of WPT since 1994 when he met Mike Reynolds while WPT was launching a Scandinavian branch in the English Embassy in Copenhagen.

In Sweden, with his wife Lena, this interest developed to keeping and breeding many parrot species such as Yellow-crested Cockatoos, Red-bellied Parrots, Black-headed Caiques, four fig-parrot species as well as softbills. To learn more about the parrots in their habitat they decided to travel to where the fig-parrots are and in 2001 this dream came true when they visited Papua (formally known as Irian Jaya) in Indonesia. Palm cockatoos, Pesquet’s or Vulturine parrots and many Birds of Paradise species where among the highlights of the trip.

This interest in the birds of this region developed into intensive travelling around Indonesia in search of the endemic species and creating a network of contacts in the places visited. Birding Indonesia guided tours was born as a result of this travelling and since 2003 friends and guests took part and enjoyed watching so many species thrive in their wild and remote habitat.

Combining this Birdwatching Tours with conservation work to protect the birds especially parrots came naturally and in 2010 when Mehd started assisting the World Parrot Trust in a program with the aim to help protect the remaining small populations of the Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Mitchell’s Lorikeet and the Red-and-blue Lory.

He was asked by the Begawan Foundation in 2011 to assist in the breeding and releases of the Bali Starlings in both Nusa Penida and Bali islands. He is now the manager of the breeding Center in the Green School in Sibang, Bali. Among his duties is locating suitable habitat on the island for future releases.

In the 5th of November 2012 Mehd with the staff of the Begawan Foundation organized the first ever soft release of 4 pairs of Bali Starlings in Sibang, Central Bali. Another release was achieved successfully in April 2014 when 4 more birds flew freely to join the others.

He is still combining his conservation work for the World Parrot Trust, his managing position in the Begawan Bali starlings Breeding and Release project in Bali and his Guiding Tours for bird watchers in remote islands in Indonesia.