Phoenix Worms Help Save Critically Endangered Birds

The Bali mynah and the Golden White-eye are birds that are listed as critically endangered bird species. Zoos in North America have obtained mated pairs of these birds and are actively breeding and raising the young since each bird is facing extinction in its native country.

Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, has been feeding Phoenix Worms to their Bali mynahs for several years. Since calcium-rich Phoenix Worms have been added to the mother birds' diet, they report that the hatch rate has greatly improved and the shell quality is much better. Natural calcium provided by the worms also benefits the hatchlings who are born with much stronger legs.

The Saint Louis Zoo is home to several pairs of Golden White-eyes who are found only on the northern Mariana Islands. Golden White-eyes are monogamous and the females lay only one or two eggs per breeding cycle. The invasive Brown Tree Snake has been introduced to the islands and is quickly descimating the species by eating the few eggs produced. Keepers at the Saint Louis Zoo credit Phoenix Worms with their breeding success and the many baby Golden White-eyes who are thriving under their care.

November 16, 2014 by Sheila Sheppard