The yellow-crested cockatoo is one of the endangered bird species that lives in the Timor-Leste national park.
Rosemary Low/BirdLife Internation
Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) has declared its first national park. This new nation’s move will help protect a number of threatened species found nowhere else in the world.
The critically endangered yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), whose populations have been devastated worldwide by unsustainable exploitation for trade, is one of 25 bird species restricted to Timor and its neighboring islands.
BirdLife International has worked with the Timor-Leste government since the country’s formal independence to help identify the country’s important bird area. Sixteen of BirdLife’s Important Bird Areas will be linked together by the newly designated Nino Konis Santana National Park. They include: Lore; Monte Paitchau and Lake Iralalara; and Jaco Island.
“This is great progress by the government and communities of Timor-Leste. After five years work, our first national park is born. It will help our nation to protect its national heritage, culture and history,” said Manuel Mendes, director of the Department of Protected Areas and National Parks, Timor-Leste. “The national park will protect globally significant biodiversity and the culture and socioeconomic livelihoods of communities living there.”
The national park is named in honor of Nino Konis Santana, a national hero and former commander of Forças Armadas da Libertação Nacional de Timor-Leste, the armed wing of the resistance movement in the struggle for independence.