"Zoo animal of the year 2020": Beo

Its holdings in Asia have plummeted in recent years - some species are on the brink of extinction. Therefore, the Zoological Society for Species and Population Protection has chosen Beo as "Zoo Animal of the Year" 2020.

When a star's doom is doomed


Ten to 20 years ago, Beos were often seen in German pet stores. These birds were always wild catches, because breeding the animals is complex and importing the birds was much cheaper. However, this changed abruptly when the population in the country of origin suffered a severe drop in population and Beo was therefore placed in Appendix II of the Washington CITES Convention on Species Protection in 1997 and the EU banned the import of wild birds in 2005.

The astonishing talent of the Beos to imitate voices eclipses that of many parrots. But this language talent is also doomed to them, because Beos are therefore a popular and much-traded bird species worldwide and especially in Asia, which gives them a lonely life in mostly small cages. In some countries, Beos are also sold as a delicacy, which further decimates the stocks.

Thus, some species are on the brink of human extinction today.

The challenge of choosing a partner

The monogamous Beos are very demanding when choosing a suitable partner. That is why it is a challenge even for experienced zoos and breeders to breed the intelligent birds. It is therefore not surprising that this particularly talented “star” can hardly be seen even in zoological facilities. In order to make a concrete contribution to the preservation of these birds in human care and to be able to meet Beos in zoos again in the future, as part of the "Zoo Animal of the Year" campaign in the Marlow Bird Park, a center for Beo dating, a "Beo Dating" Center ”.


The compilation of harmonizing pairs requires sound specialist knowledge, a larger selection of suitable individuals and several enclosures in which the newly found couples can retreat. The European Ex situ Program (EEP) for Beos is coordinated at Vogelpark Marlow - it is the ideal place to offer unprecedented Beos the chance to find their “great love”.

The pairs thus created are handed over to participating zoos and, as compatible breeding pairs, will hopefully provide more Beo offspring so that the populations in zoological gardens can recover.

Support for two protection projects in Indonesia

In addition to finding a partner in Germany, the "Zoo Animal of the Year" campaign 2020 will also provide financial support for two Beo protection projects in Indonesia. However, the prerequisites for immediate improved protection in the wild are very difficult. Therefore, a breeding aviary complex specially designed for the demanding needs of Beos is being built on the island of Java. Here the highly endangered Tenggara Beos and the endangered Nias Beos are given the chance to survive of their kind in human care.

The second project is on the island of Nias. The local museum, the parish and the island's inhabitants want to build a conservation breeding center here to save the birds, which are a cultural symbol of their island and even bear their names. The species conservation campaign will promote the creation of special tree nurseries to ensure that the beos with native tree and shrub species have sufficient fodder plants for later release.

With the "Zoo Animal of the Year" campaign 2020, the two species conservation projects in the Beos' habitat will be directly and above all financially supported in order to prevent highly endangered species from extinction and to give them a perspective for long-term survival in the wild.

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